Improving Transportation System Resilience with Shared Automated Vehicles

Research Team: Michael F. Hyland (lead) and Jiangbo (Gabe) Yu

UC Campus(es): UC Irvine

Problem Statement: Transportation systems are critical to the daily lives of Californians. However, disruptions to transportation services (e.g., bus or train breakdowns) and damage to infrastructure (e.g., pavement or bridge collapses) can significantly impact a community's mobility and economic well-being. The response of traditional transportation systems to disruptive events relies heavily on decisions made by system employees (e.g., transit operators and bus drivers), who are constrained by limited resources. In addition, repairing damaged infrastructure tends to have long response latencies (especially during non-working hours) and repair times. Therefore, there is an urgent need to explore new options that can enhance the resilience of transportation systems under resource and information constraints.

Project Description: This project will investigate how shared automated vehicles (SAVs) might be used to enhance the resilience of transportation systems in California communities. Specifically, the study will explore the potential advantages and challenges of employing SAVs to maintain essential mobility services and expedite infrastructure recovery following disruptions. For instance, when buses or trains break down, SAVs can alleviate service interruptions by providing options to passengers that rely on public transit. In situations where roads or bridges are damaged, SAVs can safely transport repair teams from their homes to the affected areas, eliminating the need for human drivers. The research team will develop a comprehensive modeling framework for SAVs that deliver critical services during disruptions. Additionally, this framework will be tested through case studies in Santa Clara and Orange Counties.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $102,886