SCC: Leveraging Autonomous Shared Vehicles for Greater Community Health, Equity, Livability, and Prosperity (HELP)

Principal Investigator(s):

Zhi-Li Zhang, Professor, Computer Science and Engineering


  • Saifallah Benjaafar, Former Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Yingling Fan, Associate Dean for Faculty, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Thomas Fisher, Professor/Director, Metropolitan Design Center
  • Alireza Khani, Associate Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

This project examines preferences and attitudes regarding the implementation and design of a hypothetical publicly funded Shared Automated Vehicle (SAV) system in the Twin Cities metro area. Researchers conducted a series of interviews in which officials at local planning agencies were asked about their vision for SAV in the Twin Cities. According to these interviews, SAV could be especially useful in solving first-and-last-mile problems and connecting with already-existing transit and on-demand transportation infrastructure. Researchers then analyzed data sourced from an originally designed digital survey instrument implemented over social media in 2020 and specifically targeted at Twin Cities residents. Data from the survey emphasize that people who currently experience barriers to transportation are more likely to value SAV highly. The data also gives insight into design considerations, emphasizing flexibility in payment and booking and the importance of security features. Finally, researchers examined data from a similar survey administered at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair, which they used to gauge preferences toward SAV among people living in the Twin Cities exurbs and Greater Minnesota.

Project details: