Decarbonizing travel in cities with electrified autonomous taxis

phys.org | 6/7/2019 | Staff
DebraS (Posted by) Level 3
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Deploying a fleet of electric autonomous taxis in a city could result in an 87 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional vehicular travel, according to a new University of Michigan-led study.

The electrification of a city's AT fleet—largely from electric powertrains—results in a 60 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to the baseline of personally owned, human-driven vehicles.

Study - Author - Gregory - Keoleian - Director

However, study author Gregory Keoleian, director of U-M's Center for Sustainable Systems at the School for Environment and Sustainability, says that the autonomous nature of the taxi fleet is integral to further GHG reductions—up to 87 percent.

"With the autonomous fleet, you have a net benefit in greenhouse gas reductions that you don't have with a standard taxi fleet," he said. "Due to capabilities such as smoother acceleration and communication between vehicles and infrastructure, autonomous vehicles create a direct effect benefit in GHG reduction and improve overall fuel economy."

Addition - AT - Fleet - Effect - GHG

In addition to an AT fleet's "direct effect" GHG reduction, implementation can lead to further sustainability improvements through "indirect effects" related to fleet size and parking and charging infrastructure.

"With greater vehicle utilization and occupancy, fleet sizes can be reduced and mitigate a parking burden, and fleets will turn over more frequently, adopting more efficient technology sooner," said study co-author Jim Gawron.

AT - Fleet - Cost - Infrastructure - Ride-sharing

An AT fleet would likely reduce the cost of charging infrastructure, and dynamic ride-sharing can reduce vehicle miles traveled. Furthermore, the researchers believe that electrification of autonomous...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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