The combined effect of information and experience on drivers' route-choice behavior

Eran Ben-Elia, Ido Erev, Yoram Shiftan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations

Abstract

Advanced travel information systems (ATIS) are designed to provide real time information enabling drivers to choose efficiently among routes and save travel time. Psychological research suggests that route-choice models can be improved by adding realistic behavioral assumptions. However, different generalizations imply deviations in different directions. Specifically, different choices arise when decisions are taken on the basis of information compared to those taken on the basis of personal experience. An experimental study of route choices investigates the combined effects of information and experience on route choice decisions in a simulated environment whereby the participants can rely on a description of travel time variability and at the same time can rely also on personal experience through feedback. The experiment consisted of a simple two route network, one route on average faster than the other with three traffic scenarios representing different travel time ranges. Respondents were divided to two groups: with real-time information and without. Both groups received feedback information of their actual travel time. During the experiment, participants chose repeatedly between the routes and across scenarios. The results show that effect of information is positive and more evident when participants lack long-term experience on the distributions of travel times. Furthermore, information seems to increase initial risk seeking behavior, reduce initial exploration and contribute to between subject differences. These findings have implications for cost-effective ATIS design especially in the conditions characterized by non-recurrent congestion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-177
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ATIS
  • Experience
  • Risk response
  • Route-choice
  • Travel time variability
  • Utility maximization

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