The short-run and long-run equilibria for commuting with autonomous vehicles

Fangni Zhang, Wei Liu, Gabriel Lodewijks, S. Travis Waller

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Recent empirical studies indicated that using autonomous vehicles (AVs) can reduce commuters' value of time. In this context, this paper investigates how variation in value of time for AVs will reshape the commuting dynamics in the short-run and the implication on AV-related policies in the long run. We find that in the short run, the adoption of AV can create more congestion delays since delay becomes cheaper for commuters. In the long run, a number of external factors such as ownership cost and safety concerns may affect commuters' preference for AVs as against to traditional vehicles (TVs). This will influence the AV penetration, which in turn affects the daily commuting equilibrium. Multiple long-run equilibria with different AV penetrations may exist, depending on the additional cost/benefit of AVs with respect to TVs. Government subsidies may be needed to drive the system from inefficient long-run equilibrium to a more efficient one.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-830
Number of pages28
JournalTransportmetrica B
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • autonomous vehicles (AV)
  • AV penetration
  • bottleneck model
  • long-run equilibrium
  • Short-run equilibrium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Transportation


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