Understanding vehicle selection behavior of carsharing users

To determine the most efficient allocation of resources within a carsharing program, it is critical to understand what factors affect the users’ behavior when selecting vehicles. This study attempts to investigate the importance of users’ attributes and fleet characteristics on choice set formation behavior in selecting vehicles using a Spatial Hazard Based Model (SHBM). 

“How far are users willing to travel to use carshare vehicles?” 

“What factors influence users’ selection of vehicles and are there any patterns or trends associated within these factors?”

In the SHBM model, ‘‘distance to a vehicle” is considered as the prospective decision criteria that carsharing users follow when evaluating the set of alternative vehicles. This variable is analogous to the duration in a conventional hazard-based model. In addition, user socio-demographic attributes, vehicle characteristics, land use type of the trip origin, etc., collected from the Australian carsharing company GoGet are utilized to parameterize the shape/scale/location parameter of the hazard function. A number of forms of parametric SHBMs are tested to determine the best fit to the data. The accelerated failure time model with a Log-logistic distribution was found to provide the best fit. The estimation results of the coefficients of the parameters can provide a starting point for carsharing organizations to optimize their pod locations and types of cars available at different pods to maximize usage.

Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0968090X16301759

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