Automated Mobility-on-Demand vs. Mass Transit: A Multi-Modal Activity-Driven Agent-Based Simulation Approach

Rounaq Basu, Andrea Araldo, Arun Prakash Akkinepally, Bat Hen Nahmias Biran, Kalaki Basak, Ravi Seshadri, Neeraj Deshmukh, Nishant Kumar, Carlos Lima Azevedo, Moshe Ben-Akiva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Among the new transportation services made possible by the introduction of automated vehicles, automated mobility-on-demand (AMoD) has attracted a lot of attention from both industry and researchers. AMoD provides a service similar to taxi or ride-sharing services, while being driverless. It is expected to attract a huge fraction of travelers currently using mass transit or private vehicles and will have a disruptive effect on urban transportation. While most studies have focused on the operational efficiency of the technology itself, our work aims to investigate its impact on urban mobility. Our contribution is two-fold. First, we present a flexible AMoD modeling and simulation framework developed within a multi-modal agent-based urban simulation platform (SimMobility). The framework allows the detailed simulation and assessment of different AMoD operations together with an activity-based framework that accounts for changes in demand, such as activity participation, trip making, mode, destination, or route choice decisions. Second, we focus our attention on the role of mass transit in a futuristic urban system where AMoD is widely available. Mass transit is already challenged by current ride-sharing services, for example, Uber and Lyft, which provide comparatively better and cheaper services. This trend will plausibly be exacerbated with the introduction of AMoD, which may indirectly act as a replacement to mass transit. Our simulation results show that mass transit is irreplaceable, despite the high efficiency of AMoD, in order to avoid congestion and maintain a sustainable urban transportation system with acceptable levels of service.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-618
Number of pages11
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


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