Meta-Study of App-Enabled Transportation Technologies Finds Bike Sharing, Car Sharing, and Autonomous Buses May Reduce Car Travel.

A Literature Review of Research on Bike Sharing, Car Sharing, Private Autonomous Cars and Other Transportation Technologies.

Date Posted

Transportation technologies, sharing economy, and teleactivities: Implications for built environment and travel

Summary Information

Information Technology (IT) especially the increasing ubiquity of smartphones and high-speed data access has enabled the rise of a number of new transportation paradigms. Most notably, app enabled transportation technologies are playing an increasingly important role in transportation systems. Examples of these app enabled transportation technologies include bike sharing, car sharing, Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), e-scooters, and more.

Due to their increasing presence app enabled transportation technologies have attracted significant research attention. To help assess what the consensus on these technologies has been, a research team conducted a literature review of these app enabled technologies. Specifically, the team reviewed research on:

  • Car shaing
  • Ridesharing
  • Bike sharing
  • Ridesourcing (TNCs)
  • E-scooters
  • Mobility as a Service (MaaS)
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Delivery Drones
  • Delivery Robots
  • Urban Air Mobility

From this study the research team found that certain technologies are effective at reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and improving urban mobility. Notably:

  • “Bikesharing is conducive to more active travel and lower car use”
  • “Carsharing may reduce private car use and ownership”
  • Likewise, autonomous buses may decrease VMT

In contrast certain technologies are likely to worsen congestion:

  • TNCs may increase VMT 
  • Private autonomous vehicles may increase VMT

Finally, the team reported mixed/context-specific findings for e-scooters, ride sharing, and Maas technologies.