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FLEET MANAGEMENT


consider forgoing them for the current spec- trum of alternative modes of transportation. Conversely, a person without a car, who cur- rently uses those other forms of transporta- tion, is more often likely to want to own a car. The reasons most people own cars are


reduce car ownership significantly. This will require coordination beyond the bounds of each town or city transit or taxi service. It will require regional fleets more massive than any single municipal operator can fund or manage and will be fundamentally different


aspects needs more than marketing crea- tivity or massive systems capability. The level of equity many regions might demand would require oversight and subsidies. Both of these need metrics that are easily under- stood so that users understand their rights and that both operator and overseer can eas- ily agree on performance. The maximization of social equity is more


difficult because it is enveloped in numerous social and political layers. Regardless, metrics and methods of oversight can and must be designed. The struggle will be to agree on the facets of equity to be supported and measured, which would be tailored nec- essarily region-by-region. Still a guideline across regions and across a country would be desirable.


 Behavioural economics: today’s car owners and aspiring owners are unlikely to flee from the option of owning their own vehicle


understandable. A significant number of those reasons must be satisfied through shared vehicles services in order for large numbers of car owners to convert to becom- ing everyday ride-buyers. If instantly avail- able, safe, clean and comfortable rides can be offered reliably to all destinations that an individual car owner reasonably desires to visit, then a significant number of such car owners may decide to buy rides exclusively. But we are a long way from being able to fill such a promise — and today’s fledgling automated vehicle technology is only an enabler. We need focused and intentional programs to design and sustain SAV services that upend the current ownership paradigm. Initial robo vehicle services operating in


defined areas would tend to replace current shared manual services: transit and taxis. They might diminish PAV ridership some- what, but will not replace car ownership in any wholesale manner. Massive, robo-fleets with operators motivated to provide reli- able, continuous, convenient, 24/7 coverage and access throughout broad regions for every traveler purpose are the only way to


www.thinkinghighways.com


from the way public-service fleets are man- aged and governed today.


SAFEGUARD SOCIAL EQUITY: MAXIMIZE ACCESS, AFFORDABILITY AND REACH FOR ALL USERS While many public transit systems are man- aged to assure a measure of coverage for lower income families, provide access to mobility for people unable to use normal transit or unable to drive and grant subsidies for its users, such purposes and any related largesse may not readily translate to com- mercial SAV fleets. Cities currently struggle with this independently and piecemeal as TNC operators like Uber and Lyft cherry-pick the traditional customers of taxi operators and more recently, commuter bus routes. Even for fleets that would provision SAV


rides relatively uniformly across a connected region of cities and towns (coverage), the issue of ride provision for all incomes and abilities (access) would be a significant extra step in terms of fare affordability and cus- tomer assistance. Governance that ensures a satisfactory level of equity in all of these


LEVERAGE EXISTING TRANSIT: MAXIMIZE CONNECTIVITY TO TRANSIT TRUNK LINES There are many reasons to believe that tran- sit is threatened by SAVs and even PAVs that attract riders. The main reason is the eco- nomic limits on public transit providing on- demand, 24/7 available, door-to-door trips with a variety of comfort levels depending on the economic resources of the traveler. We’ve heard the argument that a three-to- one or four-to-one replacement of city buses with 10- and 12-passenger autonomous shuttles on more flexible routes and sched- ules could mark an improvement over tran- sit services without generating additional congestion at peak. However, the same is harder to argue for the replacement of those buses with 20 to 40 two- and four-passenger vehicles, although this is a potential out- come. Harder still would it be to argue for the replacement of existing rail carriage with such vehicles. It would almost certainly be more advantageous to incentivize the use of smaller-scaled automated vehicles as feeder vehicles into existing trunk lines: rail and bus rapid transit (BRT). The desired level of such integration


would depend on a number of local vari- ables. A governance model which rewarded connectivity to existing transit trunk lines would be able to leverage massive existing investments and to constrain the volume of independent vehicles moving in and out of the urban core at peak times. This could be


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