Anticipating a World of Autonomous Vehicles: Implications & Opportunities for our Communities

Sponsored by
UC ITS Mobility Research Program; Pacific Southwest Region University Transportation Center
June 7 2019 10:30–12:00
4080 AIR Building (Remote presentation)
Kara Kockelman
Kara Kockelman
The University of Texas at Austin

Self-driving or “autonomous” vehicles (AVs) represent a potentially disruptive & beneficial change to the way in which we travel. This new technology will impact roadway safety & congestion, air quality & traveler choices. Benefits to individual AV owners will be on the order of $2,000 per year in the near term, thanks to crash savings, travel time reductions, fuel savings, & parking benefits. When crash savings for other roadway users are included, net social benefits are nearly $3,000 per year, rising to over $4,000 per AV over the long-term. But easier “driving” means more traffic, more emissions, and more energy use. This presentation shares various results of US surveys for fleet evolution forecasts, and agent-based simulations of shared AV fleet operations, with and without real-time ride-sharing, using both hybrid and all-electric drivetrains to help anticipate the traffic, emissions, and cost impacts of AV technologies.

Dewitt Greer Professor of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Kockelman is a registered professional engineer & holds a PhD, MS, & BS in civil engineering, a Masters of City Planning, & a minor in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. She received a Google Research Award in 2014 and was named one of the world’s Top 100 young Innovators by MIT’s Technology Review Magazine in 2002. She has received an NSF CAREER Award for her urban systems modeling work, along with the Regional Science Association International’s Hewings Award (2006), ASCE’s Laurie Price (2014), ASCE’s Bartholomew Award (2007), & ASCE’s Huber Research Prize in Transportation Engineering (2010).
Dr. Kockelman is primary & co-author of over 150 papers across a variety of subjects, all of which involve transportation-related data analysis. Her primary research interests include the statistical modeling of urban systems (including models of travel behavior, trade, & location choice), energy & climate issues (vis-à-vis transport & land use decisions), the economic impacts of transport policy, & crash occurrence & consequences. Dr. Kockelman has chaired the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB’s) Travel Survey Methods committee, & serves on TRB’s Statistical Methods, Economics, Land Development, & Traveler Behavior & Values committees. She currently serves on the editorial boards of six journals, including Transportation Research Parts B & C (for Methodological contributions & Emerging Technologies, respectively). Dr. Kockelman’s paper pre-prints & curriculum vitae can be found at