When and why do people choose automated buses over conventional buses? Results of a context-dependent stated choice experiment

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - urban, infrastructure - vehicle, policy - sustainable, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice


Public transport systems, Automated buses, Context-dependent, Stated choice experiment


The sustainable and continuous development of public transport systems is crucial to ensuring robust and resilient transport and economic activity whilst improving the urban environment. Through technological improvement, cities can increase the competitiveness of public transport, promote equality and pursue a multi-modal shift to greener solutions. The introduction of vehicle automation technology into existing public transport systems has potential impacts on mobility behaviours and may replace conventional bus service in the future. This study examines travellers’ preferences for automated buses versus conventional buses, using a context-dependent stated choice experiment. This experiment measured the effects of context variables (such as trip purpose, travel distance, time of day, weather conditions and travel companion) on the choice of automated buses versus conventional buses. The results were analysed using mixed logit models, and the findings indicate that, in general, choice behaviours do not diverge much between the choice of automated bus and conventional bus. However, individuals’ choices are more elastic towards the changes in automated bus service levels compared to conventional bus service. The results show that poor weather conditions may lower the quality and reliability of public transport service, and the probability of choosing an automated bus over a conventional bus is reduced due to such disruptions. In addition, passengers travelling for work purposes, covering long distances, or travelling with companions are more likely to choose conventional buses than automated buses.


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


Sustainable Cities and Society http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/22106707