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Title: Modeling the External Effects of Air Taxis in Reducing the Energy Consumption of Road Traffic

Abstract

Air taxis are currently being demonstrated. Few studies have quantified their external effects in reducing on-road vehicle fuel consumption. The hypothesis of this paper is that air taxis may divert some drivers away from congested traffic corridors, improve traffic speed and fuel economy, and reduce congestion-induced energy consumption. A model is developed that links several key components: mode choice, the relationship between travel demand and traffic speeds, the relationship between traffic speeds and fuel economies, and the heterogenous value of travel time. It is applied to the route from downtown Los Angeles to Los Angeles International Airport, where at peak hours 38,200 vehicles attempt to use the route that has an hourly capacity of 17,200 vehicles. The model estimates that, with conservative assumptions and near-term technologies, diverting 3.2% of the traffic to air taxis could produce a 15% reduction in traffic vehicle fuel use. With optimistic assumptions and mature technologies, the study estimates that diverting 20% of traffic could reduce the traffic vehicle fuel use by about 74%. The key insight is that if a small share of congested travelers switched to air taxis, motivated by private benefits of time savings, significant external benefits for other road travelers (time savingsmore » and fuel savings) and to society (reduced energy use and emissions), would ensue creating a win-win-win outcome. These estimates (which are not intended as predictions because of the stated limitations) strongly suggest the need to consider the external energy effect in future cost-benefit analyses of air taxi technologies.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Energy and Transportation Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Knoxville, TN
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1669173
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Transportation Research Record
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Transportation Research Record; Journal ID: ISSN 0361-1981
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Lin, Zhenhong, Xie, Fei, and Ou, Shiqi. Modeling the External Effects of Air Taxis in Reducing the Energy Consumption of Road Traffic. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1177/0361198120952791.
Lin, Zhenhong, Xie, Fei, & Ou, Shiqi. Modeling the External Effects of Air Taxis in Reducing the Energy Consumption of Road Traffic. United States. doi:10.1177/0361198120952791.
Lin, Zhenhong, Xie, Fei, and Ou, Shiqi. Thu . "Modeling the External Effects of Air Taxis in Reducing the Energy Consumption of Road Traffic". United States. doi:10.1177/0361198120952791.
@article{osti_1669173,
title = {Modeling the External Effects of Air Taxis in Reducing the Energy Consumption of Road Traffic},
author = {Lin, Zhenhong and Xie, Fei and Ou, Shiqi},
abstractNote = {Air taxis are currently being demonstrated. Few studies have quantified their external effects in reducing on-road vehicle fuel consumption. The hypothesis of this paper is that air taxis may divert some drivers away from congested traffic corridors, improve traffic speed and fuel economy, and reduce congestion-induced energy consumption. A model is developed that links several key components: mode choice, the relationship between travel demand and traffic speeds, the relationship between traffic speeds and fuel economies, and the heterogenous value of travel time. It is applied to the route from downtown Los Angeles to Los Angeles International Airport, where at peak hours 38,200 vehicles attempt to use the route that has an hourly capacity of 17,200 vehicles. The model estimates that, with conservative assumptions and near-term technologies, diverting 3.2% of the traffic to air taxis could produce a 15% reduction in traffic vehicle fuel use. With optimistic assumptions and mature technologies, the study estimates that diverting 20% of traffic could reduce the traffic vehicle fuel use by about 74%. The key insight is that if a small share of congested travelers switched to air taxis, motivated by private benefits of time savings, significant external benefits for other road travelers (time savings and fuel savings) and to society (reduced energy use and emissions), would ensue creating a win-win-win outcome. These estimates (which are not intended as predictions because of the stated limitations) strongly suggest the need to consider the external energy effect in future cost-benefit analyses of air taxi technologies.},
doi = {10.1177/0361198120952791},
journal = {Transportation Research Record},
issn = {0361-1981},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {10}
}

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