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Travel Mode Selection When Autonomous Transportation Attributes Are Included as Criteria

Tower, Marc Andrew
Technology is rapidly changing the options available for travelers and transportation provider's business models. Billions of dollars have been investing in autonomous automobiles, but deployment timelines vary widely. Simultaneously, airlines are facing a severe shortage of qualified pilots that is predicted to extend for 20 years. For shorter trips, travelers may opt for the autonomous vehicle which provides positive attributes commercial air travel does not; productivity, privacy and flexibility. This research is designed to determine if these attributes affect the traveler's mode choice, if one of them affects choice more than the others and how the attributes relate to price and total travel time. The survey was constructed using choice survey methods as described by the Transportation Research Board and the results collected from over 400 respondents. The analysis shows that when presented trip options, productivity influences the transportation mode selection, but flexibility and privacy did not. In the 500-mile driving range, over 40% of the trips selected used the Ground Based Autonomous Vehicle (GBAV) as the mode of choice. GBAV is used instead of autonomous automobile because future iterations will be free of current design constraints and may be considerably more appealing for travel.