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An evaluation of the potential for car sharing to facilitate one-way trips in and around cities

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

Project Description

There is currently rapid growth in one-way car-sharing, which is also adding growing momentum to the wider deployment of electric vehicles. One of the key challenges with one-way car sharing is the need to implement strategies for redistribution between locations. This project will explore alternative possibilities for implementing car sharing and the associated challenges and will quantify and evaluate the potential benefits associated with such schemes.

Cities (and to a lesser extent towns) are extremely significant to transport and travel patterns. First, they have large populations which mean that many trips originate and terminate in cities. Secondly, they have numerous attractions (e.g. employment locations, shopping and recreational facilities etc.) which mean that many trips by those living outside the city have their destination within the city. Many of these trips are facilitated by motorised transport and this means that there is generally a large volume of traffic concentrated within cities.

There is currently rapid growth in one-way car-sharing, evidenced by the emergence of companies Zipcar, who account for about half of all carsharers worldwide. This development is also adding growing momentum to the wider deployment of electric vehicles and (potentially) autonomous vehicles. Although the rise of car-sharing and particularly one-way car-sharing (where the user picks up the vehicle from a station or some other location and drops it off at their destination) has been rapid there are a number of barriers that need to be overcome. These include regulatory issues, the need for the necessary charging infrastructure (for electric vehicle fleets) and changes in users’ mobility and car ownership patterns. One of the key challenges with one-way car sharing is the need to implement strategies for redistribution between locations.

This project will explore alternative possibilities for implementing car sharing which include return, one-way, free-floating and peer to peer types of operation. The study will quantify and evaluate the potential benefits, which include: a) providing a convenient way to access public transport modes for people with and without cars; b) improving the air quality in city centres (if electric vehicles are used) and c) reducing pressure on parking and the elimination of the need to park at popular locations such as train stations.

The successful candidate should have, or expect to have, an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Civil Engineering, Geography, Planning.

Knowledge of: Transport Engineering, Planning and built environment, Experience in use of Qualitative and quantitative research methods desirable

Funding Notes

This project is for self-funded students only. There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to pay Tuition Fees and living expenses, from their own resources, for the duration of study.

References

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Transport Studies. Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing.

NOTE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE SUPERVISOR AND EXACT PROJECT TITLE YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ON THE APPLICATION FORM. Applicants are limited to applying for a maximum of 2 projects. Any further applications received will be automatically withdrawn.

Informal inquiries can be made to Prof J Nelson ([email protected] ) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([email protected]).

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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