AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES Commuter rail, subways and light rail

transit would still be in critical use for high- popularity peak visitation seasons and daily commuting hours. There would not be significantly more or fewer of these high-capacity systems although they could be upgraded, automated, expanded and rescheduled. In other words, we anticipate a highly recognizable urban world with two particular changes: (a) many vehicles won’t have drivers and (b) individuals and families own or lease fewer private, motorized vehi- cles for travel on public roads. Of course there would be many other

ancillary changes and it would likely take until after 2050 to get to an anticipated “mostly shared” state, but let’s just jump ahead for now, since we are merely assum- ing in this discussion one of the most commonly described automated vehicle future scenarios.

SIZING A MASSIVE SAV FLEET In 2016, the consultancy Roland Berger pub- lished: “A CEO agenda for the (r)evolution of the automotive ecosystem” projecting that 27 per cent of all PKT globally will be pro- vided by robo-taxis by 2030. It is unremarkable that an urban region

might supply a quarter of all its surface, motorized person-travel by shared, auto-

mated vehicles soon after the robo-taxi becomes reliable. In cities in North America and Europe between 10 and 30 per cent of all PKT are already taken in vehicles that are not personally owned: bus, train, taxi, carshare, hailed ride, or airport limo. As we showed in our 2016 report “Ontario Must Prepare for Vehicle Automation” the early consumers for robo-taxis will already be users of shared vehicle modalities – disruption always hits the markets most poorly served first. This first 27 per cent is global, low-hanging fruit, since the shared modalities will be disrupted by the robo-taxi first. Regardless of the time-accuracy of this

prediction for any particular region, such a milestone will certainly come to pass. As a thought exercise, what might such a fleet look like, how big would it be, what might it cost? Here are some assumptions for a simple calculation; the reader is invited to alter them:

1. Target a region with a population of five million – 27 per cent is 1.35 million users. 2. Each person in the population averages 15,000 PKT per annum, or 20.25 billion PKT. 3. Let fleet vehicles carry two, four, six and 12 passengers; have these comprise 50, 25, 20 and five per cent of the fleet, respectively. 4. Assume vehicles are 50 per cent occupied

 Resisting change: applying psychological insights into human behaviour to explain economic decision-making, or “behavioural economics”, is key to future progress

on average, including deadheading. This provides a highly achievable 1.9 weighted- average fleet occupancy rate. 5. Assume vehicles have an average daily duty cycle of 16 hours runtime (excludes charging, parking when not in use, but includes dead- heading and waiting for riders). 6. Assume vehicles average 24kph (top vehi- cle speed is the posted speed, but most actual travel is in-city, stops, pickups, wait- ing, heavy traffic, lights, etc); this means daily distance (if trip assignment is optimized) is 16 x 24 = 384km/day (140,000km annually; NYC taxi averages 112,000km). This implies we need 144,500 vehicles. 7. Assume we require a 20 per cent buffer due to imperfect ride matching and machine downtime. This increases the vehicle require- ment to 173,400. 8. In the event 20 per cent (of the 27 per cent) of the population is on the road at peak hour (non-uniform demand), the fleet would need to serve 5.4 per cent of the population concurrently. This requires 142,000 vehicles, hence 173,400 is sufficient. 9. Assume fleet operations (management, payment systems, security, police and emer- gency, maintenance (repairs and cleaning), oversight, stewards on the minibuses, map maintenance, roadway watchdogs) requires 1 FTE per 5 vehicles. 10. Average staff salary and overhead per FTE is US$80,000 per annum, or US$16,000 staff expense per vehicle (34,700 jobs). 11. Assume Capex and Opex (exclusive of staff costs) for a vehicle is US$100,000 per annum. That means total cost per vehicle is US$116,000 per annum or a total annual fleet cost of US$16.5 billion or US$0.81 per service km.

81 cents per km is high relative to personal ownership, but lower than current costs for taxi, carshare or unsubsidized costs for transit bus. This figure would be raised by insurance costs, road-use fees, parking costs and unex- pected security expense. And it might be lowered as technology improves and staff/ vehicle rates drops. It is also expected that other forms of revenue (data, advertising, commercial services) could lower effective average usage charges. What would happen if we could nudge occupancy by 1/10th of a passenger from


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