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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Garrett Bray

Business models for disrupting urban mobility TOWARD A FRAMEWORK AND QUANTITATIVE MODEL TO EXPLORE SCENARIOS FOR SHARED, AUTONOMOUS, ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN CITIES, USING CAMBRIDGE AS A CASE STUDY

Mobility is on the verge of disruption due to autonomous technology, shared service models and powertrain electrification. The potential economic, social and environmental benefits of these forces are significant, particularly when they converge as Shared, Autonomous, Electric Vehicles (SAEVs).

To help companies, authorities and consumers envisage and plan for future scenarios, this paper develops a framework, backed with a quantitative model, to explore the range of business models and sustainability outcomes for SAEVs in cities. Drawing from the literature on business models and impacts of SAEVs, the framework covers elements of governance and ownership, product/service design, operating models, revenue models and market demand on the business model scenario side and 15 operational and sustainability metrics on the impact side.

Using a high penetration, high service level ‘Robot taxi fleets’ scenario in Cambridge UK, it finds significant and wide-ranging economic, social and environmental sustainability benefits as well as counterintuitive findings regarding congestion, employment and air quality. Recommendations for authorities, fleet operators and private consumers have been identified based on the scale and identified sub-drivers of impacts.