Using Driving Simulator Environment to Determine Interactions Between User Behavior and Infrastructure Design Under Autonomous Vehicles

This study will use immersive driving simulator environments in conjunction with stated preference surveys to analyze the interactions between user behavior and infrastructure design changes under AVs while factoring emerging trends of shared-mobility services, electrification, and the promotion of sustainable transportation modes (such as mass transit, biking and walking). A road network corridor in Atlanta, GA will provide the immersive driving simulator environment, with the current road infrastructure design and human-driven vehicles (HDVs) representing the base case. Thereafter, modifications to the infrastructure design to reflect AVs, shared-mobility services, electrification and sustainable transportation modes will be used to analyze users’ door-to-door travel choices under route navigation. The study will factor benefits in terms of safety, mobility, and emissions reduction with costs of electrification and autonomy from users’ perspective to understand how users would respond to different infrastructure designs, and how infrastructure designs can be used to influence user behavior under AVs. The study insights will be used to develop guidelines that can aid state and local transportation agencies to develop near- and medium-term infrastructure design modifications to enable efficient, smooth transition to an AV future that additionally factors other emerging transportation-related trends.