Abstract for: Simulation of passenger demand and operating cost scenarios for the use of autonomous shuttles in rural public transport

Autonomous Shuttles could play a key role as on-demand feeder to intermodal transport hubs or as on-demand shuttles for regional personal transport systems to fill the rural transport supply gap. As part of the ongoing Austrian flagship project “Digibus® Austria” project, the requirements for and challenges arising from an integration of autonomous vehicles in regional transport systems are identified. This paper presents work in progress on a system dynamics simulation model of the impacts of potential use cases for the Digibus® autonomous shuttles for “last-mile” rural transport on transport demand and economic viability. Firstly, a Causal-Loop-Diagram as a qualitative model forming the dynamic hypothesis of the system behaviour has been developed and the main feedback mechanisms between passenger demand and operating concepts identified. We then present ongoing work on the development of a stock-flow-model that will be calibrated based on data from a pilot demonstration of the Digibus® autonomous bus shuttle in Koppl, a village near Salzburg in Austria.