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Autonomous Vehicles: Future of Transportation Sustainability

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2021) | Viewed by 31010

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
Interests: economic of autonomous driving; parking policies of autonomous vehicles; mobility as a service; autonomous freight

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Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Kennesaw State University, Marietta, GA 30060, USA
Interests: cooperative control systems; urban network modeling; large-scale optimization; transportation economics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Autonomous vehicles pave the way to more sustainable transportation. Their driverless capability allows for emerging mobility patterns that were not possible before. The older and younger population that cannot legally drive can gain access to affordable transportation and can engage in socially rewarding activities. The private sector can also provide new mobility services that exploit autonomous vehicles. These shifts in the supply and demand of transportation may affect dynamics of congestion and emission levels in large cities. Polices that aim to improve transportation sustainability need to carefully account for the impacts of driving automation, especially when automation leads to induced demand. In this Special Issue, we invite the submission of research papers that specifically address transportation sustainability in the advent of autonomous vehicles and propose sustainable alternatives for the existing demand management and traffic control polices. The scope of this Special Issue is to cover state-of-the-art contributions on data analysis, model development, policy design, and system optimization. Topics of interest with a general focus on transportation sustainability include but are not limited to:

• Emerging mobility services with autonomous vehicles;
• Emissions models for autonomous vehicles;
• Impacts of autonomous vehicles on social interactions;
• Route choice of autonomous vehicles;
• Land-use planning in the autonomous vehicle era;
• Public and private transportation integration with autonomous vehicles;
• Autonomous ridesharing and demand-responsive systems;
• Network models of autonomous vehicles;
• Autonomous freight transportation;
• Parking management for autonomous vehicles.

Dr. Mehdi Nourinejad
Prof. Mahyar Amirgholy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • autonomous vehicles
  • sustainability
  • mobility services
  • air pollution
  • management policies

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 2711 KiB  
Article
Path Planning for Autonomous Platoon Formation
by Ouafae El Ganaoui-Mourlan, Stephane Camp, Thomas Hannagan, Vaibhav Arora, Martin De Neuville and Vaios Andreas Kousournas
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4668; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094668 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3430
Abstract
In the context of automated highway systems (AHS), this work proposes an approach that enables a vehicle to autonomously join a platoon with optimized trajectory in the presence of dynamical traffic obstacles. A notable aspect is the use of Model Predictive Control (MPC) [...] Read more.
In the context of automated highway systems (AHS), this work proposes an approach that enables a vehicle to autonomously join a platoon with optimized trajectory in the presence of dynamical traffic obstacles. A notable aspect is the use of Model Predictive Control (MPC) optimization of the planned path, in conjunction with a variant of the Rapidly-exploring Random Trees (RRT*) algorithm for the purpose of platoon formation. This combination efficiently explores the space of possible trajectories, returning trajectories that are smoothened out with respect to the dynamic constraints of the vehicle, while at the same time allowing for real-time implementation. The implementation we propose takes into consideration both localization and mapping through relevant sensors and V2V communication. The complete algorithm is tested over various nominal and worst-case scenarios, qualifying the merits of the proposed methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autonomous Vehicles: Future of Transportation Sustainability)
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21 pages, 3537 KiB  
Article
From Drive-By-Wire to Autonomous Vehicle: Urban Freight Vehicle Perspectives
by Khayyam Masood, Matteo Zoppi, Vincent Fremont and Rezia M. Molfino
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1169; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031169 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3749
Abstract
Freight Urban RoBOTic vehicle (FURBOT) is a complete drive-by-wire vehicle expected to perform autonomously in an urban setting. This upgrading has raised issues that need to be resolved/addressed for the vehicle to achieve a higher level of autonomy. This research addresses two of [...] Read more.
Freight Urban RoBOTic vehicle (FURBOT) is a complete drive-by-wire vehicle expected to perform autonomously in an urban setting. This upgrading has raised issues that need to be resolved/addressed for the vehicle to achieve a higher level of autonomy. This research addresses two of these main issues. The First is the legal framework/licensing issue necessary to be addressed for the vehicle to be insured and legally drive on public roads. The second is the changes and upgrading the vehicle must go through to become a complete autonomous freight handling vehicle. The outcome of this research led to the decision for correct categorization of the vehicle for resolving its licensing issue and its legal status on the European roads by understanding the limitations of the vehicle, which includes vehicle current state and its structural properties. An additional contribution of this research is identifying the software and hardware changes the vehicle has to go through to be fully autonomous. This includes identification of correct sensors and their placement and quantities. In addition, in-depth study for software identification for the vehicle is provided resulting in favorable choice for an off-the-shelf software. Additionally, foreseeable issues, expectations from the vehicle and requirements (considering its demonstration as an autonomous vehicle) that need to be fulfilled are also highlighted. For demonstration site, use cases and site dynamics are also studied for achieving autonomy. Fulfillment of these requirements is necessary for the vehicle to demonstrate autonomous navigation and freight handling for SHOW (SHared automation Operating models for Worldwide adoption) H2020 project for delivering freight in an urban setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autonomous Vehicles: Future of Transportation Sustainability)
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20 pages, 516 KiB  
Article
Towards a Sustainable Society through Emerging Mobility Services: A Case of Autonomous Buses
by Kenichiro Chinen, Yang Sun, Mitsutaka Matsumoto and Yoon-Young Chun
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9170; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219170 - 4 Nov 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2687
Abstract
The topic of emerging mobility services has quickly received attention from scholars and media in recent years. Mobility services employing autonomous buses in transport systems is one such example. Mobility services using emerging technologies are expected to create social, economic, and environmental benefits. [...] Read more.
The topic of emerging mobility services has quickly received attention from scholars and media in recent years. Mobility services employing autonomous buses in transport systems is one such example. Mobility services using emerging technologies are expected to create social, economic, and environmental benefits. However, the potential benefits of emerging mobility services using autonomous technology will not be realized unless self-driving vehicles are accepted and used by many passengers. The recent worldwide pandemic caused us to recognize the benefits of autonomous technologies. This pretest-and-posttest designed research examines the predictors of willingness to ride autonomous buses in a closed environment. The results of this study indicate that a combination of factors, such as societal benefits, attitude and technology adoption, directly and indirectly influence an individual’s acceptance of autonomous buses. This study finds that passengers’ willingness to use emerging mobility services after a sample riding experience is higher than before having a sample riding experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autonomous Vehicles: Future of Transportation Sustainability)
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Review

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21 pages, 9158 KiB  
Review
How Will the Technological Shift in Transportation Impact Cities? A Review of Quantitative Studies on the Impacts of New Transportation Technologies
by Tanvi Maheshwari and Kay W. Axhausen
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3013; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063013 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3676
Abstract
Recent developments in vehicle automation, connectivity, electro-mobility and ridesharing are expected to transform urban mobility patterns and reshape cities. There is enormous uncertainty about how these technological developments, collectively referred to as the ‘technological shift in transportation’, may impact cities. This paper examines [...] Read more.
Recent developments in vehicle automation, connectivity, electro-mobility and ridesharing are expected to transform urban mobility patterns and reshape cities. There is enormous uncertainty about how these technological developments, collectively referred to as the ‘technological shift in transportation’, may impact cities. This paper examines whether the technological shift in transportation will lead cities on a path to sustainability in five aspects—traffic flow, space use, energy consumption, transit and active mobility and economic affordability—through a review of 34 quantitative studies. We find that these studies backed by analytical and simulation models can provide more precise answers, and their results tend to contradict each other based on starting conditions, modelling methods and other driving factors. These driving factors fall within four categories: technological integration, policy, operations and urban planning. The interaction of these driving forces will determine if the technological shift improves transportation sustainability or is detrimental for the city in the long term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autonomous Vehicles: Future of Transportation Sustainability)
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26 pages, 2119 KiB  
Review
The Determinants behind the Acceptance of Autonomous Vehicles: A Systematic Review
by Peng Jing, Gang Xu, Yuexia Chen, Yuji Shi and Fengping Zhan
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1719; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051719 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 184 | Viewed by 13930
Abstract
Excessive dependence on autonomous vehicles (AVs) may exacerbate traffic congestion and increase exhaust emissions in the future. The diffusion of AVs may be significantly affected by the public’s acceptance. A few factors that may affect people’s acceptance of AVs have been researched in [...] Read more.
Excessive dependence on autonomous vehicles (AVs) may exacerbate traffic congestion and increase exhaust emissions in the future. The diffusion of AVs may be significantly affected by the public’s acceptance. A few factors that may affect people’s acceptance of AVs have been researched in the existing studies, one-third of which cited behavioral theories, while the rest did not. A total of seven factors with behavior theories are screened out that significantly affect the acceptance intention, including perceived ease of use, attitude, social norm, trust, perceived usefulness, perceived risk, and compatibility. Six factors without behavior theories are summed up that affect AV acceptance, namely safety, performance-to-price value, mobility, value of travel time, symbolic value, and environmentally friendly. We found that people in Europe and Asia have substantial differences in attitudes toward AVs and that safety is one of the most concerned factors of AVs by scholars and respondents. Public acceptance of the different types of AVs and consumers’ dynamic preferences for AVs are highlighted in the review too. The quality of literature is systematically assessed based on previously established instruments and tailored for the current review. The results of the assessment show potential opportunities for future research, such as the citation of behavior theories and access to longitudinal data. Additionally, the experimental methods and the utilization of mathematical and theoretical methods could be optimized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autonomous Vehicles: Future of Transportation Sustainability)
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