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Article

Compatibility of Automated Vehicles in Street Spaces: Considerations for a Sustainable Implementation

1
Future.lab, Technical University of Vienna, 1040 Vienna, Austria
2
Institute for Transportation System Planning, Technical University of Vienna, 1040 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Soledad Nogués
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2732; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052732
Received: 21 January 2021 / Revised: 25 February 2021 / Accepted: 25 February 2021 / Published: 3 March 2021
Automated Vehicles (AVs) will bring a fundamental change in the mobility sector in the coming years. Whereas many studies emphasize opportunities with AVs, studies on the impacts of AVs on travel behavior particularly show an overall increase in traffic volume. This increase could impair the needs of other uses and users within street spaces and decrease the permeability of the street space for pedestrians and cyclists. However, only a few studies, so far, have looked at the changes of traffic volume due to AVs at the street level, and to what extent these impair the needs of other uses and users within different street spaces was not in the focus at all. This paper investigates the compatibility of AVs in street spaces, building on different modeling results of scenarios with AVs based on the Multi-Agent Traffic Simulation (MATSim) framework. Using the so-called compensatory approach and the whole street network of Vienna, Austria, as a case study, we examine how compatible AVs and their related changes in traffic volume are with the needs of other uses and users, i.e., pedestrians and cyclists, within different street spaces, by specifically considering the various characteristics of the latter. Results show that the effects of AVs on the compatibility of street spaces would be unevenly distributed across the city. For Shared Automated Vehicles (SAVs), a deterioration in compatibility is observable, especially in inner-city dense areas, because of an increase in traffic volume and an already high amount of competing uses. In contrast, especially (on main roads) in the outskirts, improvements in compatibility are possible. This particularly applies to SAVs with a stop-based service. However, private AVs interlinked with an overall capacity increase would lead to a deterioration in compatibility, especially in parts of the higher-level street network that already have incompatible traffic volumes, further increasing the separating or barrier effect of such streets. The results can provide insights for policymakers and stakeholders about where and how to facilitate AVs, to reach an implementation that is compatible with the different uses and needs of users within street spaces: While SAVs should be implemented particularly in the outskirts, as a complement for public transport, an implementation of AVs in the lower-level street network in inner parts of the city should not be facilitated, or it should at least be linked to measures that make street spaces more compatible with the needs of pedestrians and cyclists, e.g., implementation of walking and cycling infrastructure. View Full-Text
Keywords: automated vehicles; street spaces; compatibility; traffic volume; barrier effect automated vehicles; street spaces; compatibility; traffic volume; barrier effect
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MDPI and ACS Style

Soteropoulos, A.; Berger, M.; Mitteregger, M. Compatibility of Automated Vehicles in Street Spaces: Considerations for a Sustainable Implementation. Sustainability 2021, 13, 2732. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052732

AMA Style

Soteropoulos A, Berger M, Mitteregger M. Compatibility of Automated Vehicles in Street Spaces: Considerations for a Sustainable Implementation. Sustainability. 2021; 13(5):2732. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052732

Chicago/Turabian Style

Soteropoulos, Aggelos, Martin Berger, and Mathias Mitteregger. 2021. "Compatibility of Automated Vehicles in Street Spaces: Considerations for a Sustainable Implementation" Sustainability 13, no. 5: 2732. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052732

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