This study explores the use of automated parking and hailing capabilities at commuter rail parking lots with the goal of reducing the time and stress of finding and walking to and from a parking spot. The hypothesis was that through reducing those elements the rider would be more likely to use commuter rail because of the reduced time and stress and increased travel efficiency.
To test this hypothesis a three-phase study was conducted at two different rail stations. The phases included testing autonomous parking and hailing of a single occupancy vehicle in a closed lot, live testing in an open lot during off peak hours, and finally live testing in the lot during peak hours of service. The study tested 210 unique scenarios of full valeting, full summoning, fast-in/fast-out, and point-to-points over the course of 2,775 test runs. The testing was performed by project staff utilizing OEM vehicles with the researcher’s software installed to demonstrate safe maneuver and operations of the autonomous vehicles.
The final report is available.