This paper envisions and assesses the performance of an autonomous bus-on-demand (ABoD) system. We take Fuyang, Zhejiang, China, as the study area to investigate the spatiotemporal distribution of bus travel demand during workdays, and we propose replacing inefficient bus routes with the ABoD system. Agent-based models with various bus dispatching and operation control strategies are constructed to evaluate the performance of the ABoD system. The behaviors and interactions of the agents, passengers, autonomous buses, and a control center are designed. After the verification of the simulated bus travel demand with real-world demand, a series of scenarios with various ABoD operation strategies are simulated. The simulation results show that, in comparison with both current fixed-schedule bus services and the optimized bus dispatching strategies, the ABoD system occupies fewer road resources and utilizes bus vehicles more efficiently. Besides, the system is adaptive to the sudden surge in bus travel demand and is economically sustainable.
Document type: Article
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