Female Leaders in Transportation Seminar, Dr. Kara Kockelman


12:30 pm-1:30 pm
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Kara Kockelman is a registered professional engineer and holds a PhD, MS, and BS in civil engineering, a master’s in city planning, and a minor in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Kockelman has been a professor of transportation engineering at the University of Texas at Austin for 24 years, and is Associate Site Director of the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center for Efficient Vehicles and Sustainable Transportation Systems. She has authored over 200 journal articles (and two books), and her primary research interests include planning for shared and autonomous vehicle systems, the statistical modeling of urban systems, energy and climate issues, the economic impacts of transport policy, and crash occurrence and consequences. Her and her students’ work can be found at www.caee.utexas.edu/prof/kockelman.

Americans’ Long-distance Travel: Domestic and International, with and without Autonomous Vehicles
Long-distance (LD) person-trips are an important part of US travel, with Americans making roughly 6 billion long-distance person-trips (weighted) over 75 miles (one-way) in 2016-17. Although these trips are just 1.6% of a US person-trips, they are nearly 38% of Americans’ person-miles traveled (PMT), with 8.4% having an origin or destination abroad. This research specifies behavioral models for long-distance domestic and international passenger-trips before and after the introduction of autonomous vehicles (AVs).
After synthesizing 10% of US households (28.1M persons) across 73,056 US census tracts, these models anticipate person-trips by season and purpose, with party size, mode, and destination, as well as vehicle ownership (to reflect any AV impacts on ownership). Domestic and international airline-ticket prices are estimated and serve as key inputs to the models. Mined data sets include UT’s 2017 and 2021 vehicle ownership and long-distance travel surveys (emphasizing AV impacts), the 2016/17 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), EPA’s Smart Location data, the FHWA’s rJourney dataset, and the FAA’s ticket sales (DB1B in 2019). Model applications suggest that VMT and PMT will rise 24% (from 349 to 370 miles per month per person, with passenger-vehicle-miles rising from 149 to 186 per person per month) – when assuming that AVs cost $3500 more than conventional vehicles (e.g., in the year 2040) and rental AVs cost $0.70 per seat-mile (and can be shared among strangers, much like a mini-bus, but door to door).
Parameter estimates in the international trip distribution model (from 334 US airports to 1028 foreign airports) suggest that flight volumes fall about 41% for every 7-hour (one standard deviation increase) increase in flight time (start to end). Destinations listed as tourist attractions (like London, Barcelona, Milan, Paris, and Dubai) enjoy 48% higher inbound flows. Feasible generalized least-squares models quantify how ticket prices rise about $0.078 per mile (of distance to reach one’s destination) added when traveling in the economy or coach class (and $0.163 per mile in business or first class). Moreover, round-trip fares cost 3.4% to 12.8% less than one-way trips, to English-speaking and non-English-speaking destinations respectively. Finally, flights cost about 15.2% more (outbound and inbound) when departing in October through December (second quarter year) as compared to January through March (first quarter), everything else constant. Such details are useful in simulating the future of domestic and international travel, emissions, and expenditures, and planning policy and investment.


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