Publication Detail

Investigating the Decision to Travel More in a Partially Automated Electric Vehicle

UCD-ITS-RP-21-18

Reprint

Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center

Suggested Citation:
Hardman, Scott (2021) Investigating the Decision to Travel More in a Partially Automated Electric Vehicle. Transportation Research Part D 96 (102884)

Partially automated battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are already being sold to and used by consumers. Estimates indicate that as of the end of 2019, there were over 1.2 million Partially Automated Tesla Vehicles—the subject of this study—on the roads globally. Despite this, little research has been done to understand how partially automated vehicles may be changing travel behaviour. In this study we conduct qualitative interviews with 35 owners of Tesla BEVs with Autopilot. The focus was to determine whether partially automated BEVs could cause or are causing an increase in travel. Results show that partial automation and electrification leads to interviewees driving more and choosing to drive rather than fly. These changes are due to increased comfort and reduced stress due to the partial automation system, and because of the lower running costs of a BEV. The results show how partially automated BEVs could increase vehicle miles travelled.

Key words: Electric, Automated, Vehicles, Travel Behavior