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What will autonomous trucking do to US trade flows? Application of the random-utility-based multi-regional input-output model

University of Texas, July 15, 2018

This study anticipates changes in U.S. highway and rail trade patterns following widespread availability of self-driving or autonomous trucks (Atrucks). It uses a random-utility-based multiregional input-output (RUBMRIO) model, driven by foreign export demands, to simulate changes in freight flows among 3109 U.S. counties and 117 export zones, via a nested-logit model for shipment or input origin and mode, including the shipper’s choice between autonomous trucks and conventional or human-driven trucks (Htrucks). Different value of travel time and cost scenarios are explored, to provide a sense of variation in the uncertain future of ground-based trade flows.

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