Decision Support Tool for Planning Neighborhood-Scale Deployment of Low-Speed Shared Automated Shuttles

Lei Zhu, Jinghui Wang, Venu Garikapati, Stanley Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


Increasing interest and investment in connected, automated, and electric vehicles as well as mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) concepts are paving the way for the next major transformation in transportation through automated and shared mobility. The initial excitement toward rapid deployment and adoption of automated vehicles (AVs) has subsided, and low-speed automated shuttles are emerging as a more pragmatic pathway for introducing automated mobility in geofenced districts. Such shuttles hold the promise to provide a viable alternative for serving short trips in urban districts with high travel densities. As interest in low-speed automated shuttle systems (to improve urban mobility) increases, the need for tools that can inform communities in relation to benefits or disadvantages of automated shuttle deployments is imminent. However, most of the existing transportation planning and simulation tools are not capable of handling emerging shared automated mobility options. This paper presents a microscopic simulation toolkit that can be used by cities and communities to plan for the deployment of low-speed automated shuttles systems, as well as other shared mobility options. Labeled as the Automated Mobility District modeling and simulation toolkit, the proposed decision support tool intends to help cities evaluate the mobility and sustainability impacts of deploying shared automated vehicles (SAVs) in geofenced regions. This paper describes the toolkit, as well as a sample scenario analysis for the deployment of low-speed automated shuttles in Greenville, South Carolina, U.S. Results from the scenario study demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed simulation toolkit in planning for advanced mobility systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number9
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2020.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-76116


  • automated mobility district
  • autonomous vehicles
  • low-speed automated shuttles
  • shared and automated mobility


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