Estimating the trip generation impacts of autonomous vehicles on car travel in Victoria, Australia


Autonomous vehicles (AVs) potentially increase vehicle travel by reducing travel and parking costs and by providing improved mobility to those who are too young to drive or older people. The increase in vehicle travel could be generated by both trip diversion from other modes and entirely new trips. Existing studies however tend to overlook AVs’ impacts on entirely new trips. There is a need to develop a methodology for estimating possible impacts of AVs on entirely new trips across all age groups. This paper explores the impacts of AVs on car trips using a case study of Victoria, Australia. A new methodology for estimating entirely new trips associated with AVs is proposed by measuring gaps in travel need at different life stages. Results show that AVs would increase daily trips by 4.14% on average. The 76+ age group would have the largest increase of 18.5%, followed by the 18–24 age group and the 12–17 age group with 14.6 and 11.1% respectively. If car occupancy remains constant in AV scenarios, entirely new trips and trip diversions from public transport and active modes would lead to a 7.31% increase in car trips. However increases in car travel are substantially magnified by reduced car occupancy rates, a trend evidenced throughout the world. Car occupancy would need to increase by at least 5.3–7.3% to keep car trips unchanged in AV scenarios.

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An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 96th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in January 2017.

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Correspondence to Long T. Truong.

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Truong, L.T., De Gruyter, C., Currie, G. et al. Estimating the trip generation impacts of autonomous vehicles on car travel in Victoria, Australia. Transportation 44, 1279–1292 (2017).

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  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Driverless
  • Induced demand
  • Car trips
  • Life stages