Travel behavior and system dynamics in a simple gamified automated multimodal network

Mor Collins, Shelly Etzioni, Eran Ben-Elia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Automated Vehicles (AVs) are poised to disrupt travel patterns and the sustainability of transportation networks. Conventional methods for studying these changes, such as stated preference surveys and agent-based simulations, have limitations. Serious games offer a promising alternative, providing a controlled and engaging environment for investigating travel behavior. In our study, 200 participants, grouped into sessions of 10, engaged in a competitive serious game simulating 50 daily choices of travel mode and departure time across three automated options. Two scenarios were examined: one with recurring congestion and another with nonrecurring congestion. Automated transit had fixed schedules, while private and shared rides could adapt to a congested bottleneck. Results revealed that ridesharing dominated, reaching 60% mode share under recurring congestion, displacing transit, and a comparative equilibrium emerged between shared and private rides. In the nonrecurring congestion scenario, ridesharing dropped to 37%, and a comparable multimodal equilibrium developed. Participants rarely achieved the optimal score, attaining a maximum of 88% of its potential. This study highlights a policy paradox: unregulated AV traffic can reduce transit use, exacerbate recurring congestion, yet necessitate increased transit investment to address nonrecurring congestion, confirming the Downs-Thomson paradox. Creating appealing mass transit alternatives is imperative to ensure efficiency and sustainability in the era of automated mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104060
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
StatePublished - 1 May 2024


  • Reinforced Learning
  • Ridesharing
  • Serious Game
  • Shared Automated Vehicles
  • System Optimum
  • User Equilibrium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Transportation
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Travel behavior and system dynamics in a simple gamified automated multimodal network'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this