Improving the Equity Analysis of How Robo-taxis May Impact Employment Accessibility

Research Team: Michael Hyland (lead) and Tanjeeb Ahmed

UC Campus(es): UC Irvine

Problem Statement: The negative aspects of existing transportation systems in California tend to disproportionately impact low-income and ethnic-racial minority individuals, households, and communities. Similarly, new technological innovations in transportation, such as automated vehicles, are often seen as primarily benefiting wealthier individuals, households, and communities and in many cases this is true. Hence, there is a need to proactively plan and design future transportation systems to address historical inequities as well as to avoid exacerbating current inequities.

Project Description: This study builds upon a previous research project that explore the implications of shared automated vehicles or “robo-taxis” on employment accessibility. Specifically, this project will consist of a literature review to determine and assess (i) the current state-of-practice in equity analysis in transportation agencies; (ii) the state-of-the-art in equity analysis in the academic literature in the transportation field; (iii) the state-of-the-art in equity analysis in the academic literature outside of the transportation field; and (iv) gaps in the existing literature in terms of evaluating equity. Based on the literature review, the research team will identify and recommend the most appropriate metrics and analytical tools for equity analysis, and then use the recommended metrics and analytical tools to improve the equity analysis of how robo-taxis may impact employment accessibility.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $66,124