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Future scenarios for the deployment of autonomous vehicles in urban environments

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Beecroft
    Prof J Nelson
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

It is widely anticipated that autonomous vehicles will play an important role in future urban environments, particularly in city-centres. There is considerable potential for such vehicles to support more sustainable urban mobility, if powered by alternative sources to petrol or diesel engines. This support includes (but is not limited to): providing an
alternative to the private car; supporting active travel by use in conjunction with walking and cycling; improving safe movement for all users of urban environments; supporting independent mobility for those with mobility impairments; and supporting secure mobility for vulnerable travellers.

The proposed project will conduct an evidence review of academic, technical and policy literature to determine the current state-of-the-art in terms of autonomous vehicle development and deployment across the world. The review will also explore the degree to which autonomous vehicles are incorporated in sustainable urban mobility planning across Europe. Findings from the review will be enhanced and supplemented though interviews and questionnaires with expert stakeholders, as well as by review of applicable policies. The project will develop and storyboard alternative qualitative scenarios for the future deployment of autonomous vehicles in urban environments under a range of policy and public acceptability scenarios developed from the review findings and utilising the intuitive logics method of scenario planning. The qualitative scenario outcomes will be converted into quantifiable inputs into modelled deployment simulations for autonomous vehicles in urban environments. The project will then evaluate the technical and policy requirements to deliver the scenario outcomes and to effectively manage the anticipated traffic management impacts of these scenarios. The project findings will be communicated and disseminated to international academic, technical and policy audiences. An important proposed output will be the development of a toolkit for realistic scenarios of autonomous vehicle deployment in European cities.

The successful candidate should have, or expect to have, an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Geography or a cognate discipline

The student should have knowledge of Transport geography, Planning and built environment and Experience in use of Qualitative and quantitative research methods desirable.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Geography.
Formal applications can be completed online: You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Geography, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct person for processing. NOTE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE SUPERVISOR and EXACT PROJECT TITLE ON THE APPLICATION FORM.

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr M Beecroft ([email protected]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter and to discuss potential project proposal development.. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([email protected]).

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project, it is for self-funded students only.

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