C2M2 Distinguished Speaker – Pamela Murray Tuite, Ph.D.

C2M2 would like to thank Dr. Pamela Murray-Tuite, Clemson University, for taking part in our C2M2 Distinguished Speaker Series. Her talk was held on Friday March 5th, 2021 at 1:00pm EST.

Seminar Title

Sharing Self-Driving, Autonomous Vehicles for Evacuation

Seminar Abstract

In the future, self-driving, autonomous vehicles (AVs) may assist with the evacuation of critical transportation need households (CTNH). This webinar presents an initial study exploring the possibility of AVs being shared by their owners to help evacuate these households. In this context, sharing means the owner temporarily loaning the vehicle for others’ use. A survey was administered to over 1000 residents of South Carolina to capture qualitative assessments of willingness to share their future self-driving AVs in evacuation and disaster relief scenarios. Over 30% of respondents indicated they would be willing or very willing to do so. Ordered logit models were developed to identify factors associated with this willingness, including those related to socio-demographics and economics (e.g., unemployed, gender, age, household size), technology adoption and comfort (e.g., use of ride-hailing services, high comfort with using AVs for deliveries), frequency of giving and/or volunteering, and current commute mode. The model for the evacuation scenario was applied to a synthetic South Carolina population to determine the number of AVs that would be shared by the public to assist with hurricane evacuation. A simulation model was developed to test the potential of using only shared AVs to evacuate the CTNH for different scenarios of AV market penetration. With a 20% AV market penetration, approximately 85% to 90% of the CTNH could be evacuated.  An AV market penetration of 30% to 35% could be sufficient to evacuate all CTNH requiring evacuation assistance from the designated evacuation zones.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Murray-Tuite is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University.  She has been involved in over 30 research projects sponsored by the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research (VDOT), National Institutes of Health, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, Virginia Tech Center for Community Sustainability and Resilience, and University Transportation Centers, among others.  Through these projects, Dr. Murray-Tuite and her graduate students investigate transit impacts, develop behavior models, model and simulate transportation networks, and investigate ways to improve transportation operations for different situations. She specializes in unusual conditions in the transportation system, including evacuation and network and risk analysis.  Her work often involves multi-disciplinary efforts, striving to help bridge the gap between social science and transportation engineering, especially in the context of disasters/disruptions and household decision making. Dr. Murray-Tuite has 70 refereed journal publications, 1 book, and 3 book chapters.  She has recently served as a member of Task Group 4: Community Planning and Response for NRC Canada’s Technical Committee on Wildland/Urban Interface Fire and an external advisor to the European Union funded project Management of Weather Events in the Transport System (MOWE-IT). She and is the co-chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Disaster Response, Emergency Evacuations, and Business Continuity (AMR20).