Evaluating the impacts of shared automated mobility on-demand services: an activity-based accessibility approach

Bat Hen Nahmias-Biran, Jimi B. Oke, Nishant Kumar, Carlos M. Lima Azevedo, Moshe Ben-Akiva

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies are under constant improvement with pilot programs now underway in several urban areas worldwide. Modeling and field-testing efforts are demonstrating that shared mobility coupled with AV technology for automated mobility on-demand (AMoD) service may significantly impact levels of service and environmental outcomes in future cities. Given these rapidly emerging developments, there is an urgent need for methods to adequately quantify the economic impacts of new vehicle technologies and future urban mobility policy. In this paper, we show how broader user-centric impacts can be captured by the activity-based accessibility (ABA) measure, which takes advantage of the rich data and outcomes of utility-maximization activity-based models and its interaction with mesoscale agent-based traffic simulation frameworks. Using the SimMobility simulator, we evaluate shared AMoD strategies applied to a Singapore micromodel city testbed. A near-future strategy of exclusive availability of AMoD service in the central business district (CBD), and a further-horizon strategy of the full operation of AMoD city-wide in the absence of other on-demand services, were tested and evaluated. Our results provide insights into the income and accessibility effects on the population under the implementation of shared and automated mobility policies. The outcomes indicate that the city-wide deployment of AMoD results in greater accessibility and network performance. Moreover, the accessibility of low-income individuals is improved relative to that of mid- and high-income individuals. The restriction of AMoD to the CBD along with the operation of other on-demand services, however, provides a certain level of disbenefit to segments of the population in two exceptional cases. The first is to high-income individuals who live in a suburban zone and rely heavily on on-demand services; the second is to mid-income residents that have excellent public transportation coverage with close proximity to the CBD. We further establish the efficacy of the ABA measure, as these findings motivate the need for measuring socioeconomic impacts at the individual level. The work presented here serves as a foundation for policy evaluation in real-world urban models for future mobility paradigms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number58
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Accessibility
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Automated mobility on-demand
  • Simulation
  • Agent-based modeling

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