Recherche FFJ Research Statement Kulacha Sirikhan

Kulacha Sirikhan

Potentials and Challenges
of the connected autonomous
shared electric vehicle (CASE)
from urban geography
perspective in Southeast
Asia Megacities


Keywords: The Connected Autonomous Shared Electric Vehicle (CASE), Emerging Vehicle Technologies, Urban Mobility, Developing Megacities, Autonomous Vehicles, Electric Vehicles, Ride-Sharing Services, Mobility as a Service (Maas)


A century after the car revolution transform the urban life paradigm, the radical changes in transportation behavior from traditional gasoline-driven vehicles will come in close coming years due to the rapid growth of internet technology (IT) and innovative knowledge in motorized vehicles development. This research aims to discuss on challenges in the implementation of the connected autonomous shared electric vehicle (CASE), which overarchfour major ongoing emerging vehicle technologies including; autonomous vehicles (AVs), electrification (electric vehicles: EVs), share-ownershipservices (shared vehicles: SVs), and connected vehicle (CVs)(Adler et al., 2019).

AVs are undergoing development, which merely becomes a reality in many countries. Some of its features on driver substitution, such as auto-parking, lane-keeping, and clashing protection called semi-autonomous vehicles,are already used in some luxury cars. Second, EVs provide an alternative energy source option that decreases reliance on oil. Currently, there is hybrid drive-train technology already accessible in markets. The purely electric vehicles are undergoing development, which currently has to overcome long-distance availability problems such as battery issues (Bajpai, 2016). Despite the benefit of EVs in reducing greenhouse gas emission, but this increasesthe cost to users and requires scale-up government adoption such as charging stations, incentive cost-saving programs, and the skilled worker in operation and maintenance (Blier & Blier, 2019).Despite a typical on-demand taxi service, SVs provides a matching between riders and drivers to designate places through app-based real-time and GPS navigation devices. SVs are covering various services of shared motilities from car-hailing, bike-hailing, and bike-delivery services.Thisphenomenonhas been rapid growth around the globe. Remark, over 70 percent of SVs services are emerging in Asia. There is a massive success of SVsin emerging markets in South East Asia. At the same time, these capital cities are well recognized as world ranking traffic congestion problems. CASE refer to connectivity and digitalization that allows the communication between autonomous vehicles, infrastructure and other road users.

The connectivity is expected to be an essential component and force for the emerging vehicle technologies. The shared-vehicle concepts such as ride-hailing, ride-sharing service, shared-ownership, and mobility as a service (MaaS)will be interweaved and compatible with AVs in future urban mobility (Adler et al., 2019). The crux of CASE is diffused and overlapped over MaaS. Many scholars pointed that vehicle connectivity of CASE can be enablers of MaaS, which is covers the complete scope of urban mobility(Adler et al., 2019; S. A. Cohen & Hopkins, 2019; Gavanas, 2019; Smith et al., 2019). Therefore, the concept of integration of sustainable urban mobility will enable persuasion commuters to use alternative modes of transportation.

Rethinking on Urban Space

On the non-technological side, the concept of CASE is dependent onurban setting, where is the location of transport service and economic agglomeration. The integration of CASE isconstrained to the place-specific market contextswhere services operate, such as ticket distribution, pricing system, institutional structure rather than a global business model(Smith et al., 2019). Possible impacts from the emerging vehicle technologies will become an urban transformation force that defines the physical environment and way of living(Duarte & Ratti, 2018).Whether we are ready or not, the new transportation technologies and the change of commuting habits will change our urban life.Some technologies, both on-going ridesharing services and under-going test run of innovative vehicle experimental already become a public discussion. Among policymakers, urban planners, transport planners, and urban designers become awake on how we define urban mobility and urban development direction.The future of mobility in urban cities are under the pressure of galloping urbanization. However, the number of studies on emerging vehicle technologies in social science perspectives is only just six percent of research in these areas (T. Cohen et al., 2017). The discussion between urban transportation and geography issue is limited, which is important in the preparation of policy and regulation to catch up with technological capabilities.

Cavoli(2017)states that it is difficult to identify concrete scenario on how these technologies will impact on urban lifestyle. The positive perspective has been discussed on how these emerging vehicle technologies could improve the urban environment and fostering social welfare. These scenarios visualize these emerging vehicle technologies potentially reduce a spatial limitation such as parking space and road infrastructure, eliminate car accidents, provide inclusive accessibility to mobility such as elderly citizens, and support urban density development (Bajpai, 2016). The major shift in transportation technologies is expected to transform an existing transit space into a new urban space due to the reduction of road space and vehicle parking space. Therefore, the city has more potential to develop a new space and infrastructure that support livabilities, such as a public park, bike lane, and pedestrian’s way (Alessandrini et al., 2015).

On the other hand, emerging vehicle technologies virtually provide flexibility for people to choose where to live even farther from the city center (Anderson et al., 2016). Commuters potentially become car-dependent and willing to travel long distances, which stimulates urban sprawl problems. Contrast to urban regeneration trends in this recent decade, infill development and improving inner urban areas aim to increase urban attractiveness and increase urban density to reduce urban sprawl problems that one of them caused by the use of a private car.

The Current Stage of The Emerging Vehicle Technologies in Southeast Asia's Context

Notably, the number of researches that dedicates to Southeast Asia cities is limited. The emerging-market cities are already facing challenges in rapid growth urbanization and incomplete urban planning and transportation system. The knowledge of transitions of urban mobility systems, especially on emerging vehicle technologies in developing countries are not widely explored. Therefore, the importance of research is to address the readiness and understand the place-specific context of emerging vehicle technologies of CASE in emerging market cities before the new technology hits the road. The development stage of emerging vehicle technologies has been incorporated varies by country. Singapore ranks as the top countries ready to embrace AVs. Meanwhile, other Southeast Asian members are under the introduction stage of these technologies, such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia(Kamijo, 2019). Overall, the development scenarios between full commercialization versus shared mobility models are not defined.The full commercialization model will increase private car ownership and reduce public transportation usage. This exclusiveness scenario will fuel the social economy gap probleminfrastructures that incorporate the latest technologicaladvancements.

In this context, the study chooses Southeast Asia megacities and prospects megacities by 2030 by the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. In this study, the study areas include Jakarta, Manila, Bangkok, and Ho Chi Minh City. Indeed, there is a huge number in a part of emerging vehicle technologies such a ride-hailing services in Southeast Asia within this decade. Particularly in the capital cities of Southeast Asian countries are confronting a long period of the urban problem highlighted in traffic congestion due to limited urban morphology on big urban blocks, inadequate public transportation. These lead to rapid motorization growth, which results in overcrowded cars on the streets. However, urban residents who unable to afford private transport are suffering from a lack of mobility and accessibility potential. Existing urbanization problemsare questionable for the readiness of the coming of new vehicle technologies.

Research Scope and Methodology

The advent of emerging vehicle technologies requires a critical integration of both land use development and transportation models (Hawkins & Nurul Habib, 2019). The objective of this research is to examine challenges from the implementation of CASE and a prospect integrated land use and transportation models, which could be used as a foundation for policy preparation. How current land use development impact on the implication of CASE? And vice versa, how emerging vehicle technologies offer a significant catalyst for urban transformation? This research focuses on the interplay between urban mobility and geography for the development of CASE.

The research will be divided into two main parts. First, this research will conduct a review on previous scholars and best practice casesin order to define set of challenges, a set parameter in assessing land use development and transportation models. Second, the result from the first stage will use as the framework to perform geography analysis, such as the review of existing infrastructure and the potential of integrating the new system for emerging vehicle technologies covering urban transportation systems, urban planning schematic.


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