Autonomous vehicles are considered the main enabler for mobility services and new ownership models in the automotive sector, since the driverless operation provides substantial benefits in terms of costs and management of the fleet.
Automated vehicles, currently under development for use in mobility service fleets, are almost completely based on electric drivetrains, promising potential zero emissions during operation in the long run. Other benefits often presented are plentiful. One example is a potential reduction in congestion, especially in densely populated areas, enabled by optimised driving strategies and vehicle to infrastructure communication. Another example is the possibility to reassign inner-city parking areas to other modes of transportation, such as bike lanes. This poster analyses the emission reduction potential of autonomous shuttles, utilised in a mobility service context.
To start, emission reduction potentials during operation of a shuttle fleet are evaluated by giving a summary of literature, mainly from the field of transportation science.
The main part of the poster addresses emissions during the production of the batteries of a private electric vehicle fleet and compares them to the emissions caused by a shuttle fleet, sized in a way that it can cover more than 99% of trips the private cars would normally cover. For this, two battery sizes are selected to represent a typical battery that might be seen in the given applications. The sizes and utilisation of the batteries are used to determine lifetimes for the two systems. Using the lifetimes and sizes of the batteries, the emissions during production can be compared. Of course, absolute values in terms of emissions per produced battery and other factors can be speculative, especially taking into account that autonomous vehicle fleets are not likely to be introduced in the next years. Since many uncertain factors apply to both systems equally the study can still show how a demand optimised sizing and utilisation of battery technologies can reduce production related emissions significantly in this direct comparison. The results presented show a decrease in production emissions of approximately 25% for systems based on the same battery cell. A battery optimised for the high cyclic stress of the commercial shuttle battery can further improve this value.