MRI 1: Integrating Emergent Technologies into Transportation Planning and Policy for Rural and Under-served Communities

MRI 1 will investigate ways to fully leverage the promise of emerging connected vehicle and infrastructure technologies and improve access to critical resources for residents of rural and underserved communities. Adopting a community-driven approach, MRI 1 promotes the engagement of rural communities through participatory planning to enable methodological and analytical breakthroughs that can be used to develop, calibrate, and apply new planning paradigms in these contexts. 

Project 1-1. Designing Tools for Assessing Readiness of Rural Communities for New Technologies:  This project develops a novel classification system that can comprehensively assess the readiness of different geographical regions for technological transportation innovations. 

Project 1-2. Rural Healthcare and Transportation Deployment Planning: This project analyzes the benefits of emerging technologies for improving healthcare access in rural health professional shortage areas (HPSAs)

Project 1-3. Benefit-Cost Analysis of Rural CAV Deployment: This project investigates the benefits and costs associated with connected and automated vehicle (CAV) deployment in rural areas. 

Project R1-4. Community-Assisted Rideshare Service (CAReS) for Rural Communities: This project identifying community leaders and garnering their support, identifying volunteers and understanding their training requirements, engaging individuals and organizations for lending unused vehicles, addressing technology needs, evaluating a sustainable financial model, and tackling auto insurance and liability concerns. 

Project R1-5. The Equity and Affordability of Automated Vehicle Passenger Services in Rural and Under-Served Communities: This project to assess the expected equity and affordability of automated vehicle (AV) passenger services, such as Waymo and Cruise, in rural and underserved communities by 1) Estimating and maping the ride-hailing demand for Census tracts in the Southeast, inclusive of both driven and driverless vehicles, and 2) estimating how that demand changes in response to a change in the price.