Preferences of travellers for using automated vehicles as last mile public transport of multimodal train trips

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, mode - bike, mode - bus, mode - subway/metro, mode - tram/light rail, mode - other, ridership - attitudes, ridership - perceptions, ridership - mode choice, ridership - modelling


Attitudes, Automated vehicles, Door-to-door, Last mile transport, Stated preference


In the recent years many developments took place regarding automated vehicles (AVs) technology. It is however unknown to which extent the share of the existing transport modes will change as result of AVs introduction as another public transport option. This study is the first where detailed traveller preferences for AVs are explored and compared to existing modes. Its main objective is to position AVs in the transportation market and understand the sensitivity of travellers towards some of their attributes, focusing particularly on the use of these vehicles as egress mode of train trips. Because fully-automated vehicles are not yet a reality and they entail a potentially high disruptive way on how we use automobiles today, we apply a stated preference experiment where the role of attitudes in perceiving the utility of AVs is particularly explored in addition to the classical instrumental variables and several socio-economic variables. The estimated discrete choice model shows that first class train travellers on average prefer the use of AVs as egress mode, compared to the use of bicycle or bus/tram/metro as egress. We therefore conclude that AVs as last mile transport between the train station and the final destination have most potential for first class train travellers. Results show that in-vehicle time in AVs is experienced more negatively than in-vehicle time in manually driven cars. This suggests that travellers do not perceive the theoretical advantage of being able to perform other tasks during the trip in an automated vehicle, at least not yet. Results also show that travellers’ attitudes regarding trust and sustainability of AVs are playing an important role in AVs attractiveness, which leads to uncertainty on how people will react when AVs are introduced in practice. We therefore state the importance of paying sufficient attention to these psychological factors, next to classic instrumental attributes like travel time and costs, before and during the implementation process of AVs as a public transport alternative. We recommend the extension of this research to revealed preference studies, thereby using the results of field studies.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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