Author: Bernie DeGroat
Autonomous vehicles may reduce the number of vehicles a family needs, but may lead to an increase in total miles driven, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
UMTRI researchers Brandon Schoettle and Michael Sivak examined U.S. National Household Travel Survey data that contained comprehensive information about each trip made by a person within a selected household, including the exact start and stop times of each trip.
They found a general lack of “trip overlap” between drivers within a majority of households based on vehicle sharing. In other words, families rarely use more than one vehicle at a time.
The study is based on sharing of completely self-driving vehicles that employ a “return-to-home” mode, acting as a form of shared family or household vehicle. This would mean that driverless vehicles could operate without any passengers at all.
Read the full story at http://record.umich.edu/articles/driverless-vehicles-fewer-cars-more-miles.