Parking management of automated vehicles in downtown areas

Sina Bahrami, Daniel Vignon, Yafeng Yin, Ken Laberteaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Automated vehicles (AVs) eliminate the burden of finding a parking spot upon arrival to the destination, because they can park at a strategic location or cruise until summoned by their users. In this study, we investigate the parking choices of privately-owned AVs in a downtown area. Since each user's choice has impacts on another via cruising-incurred traffic congestion and parking competition, we model the parking choice problem of AVs as a Wardrop equilibrium in which each user cannot further reduce their parking cost by unilaterally changing their choice. The model considers all possible options for parking a private AV, and finds that these parking choices may yield multiple equilibria under which the congestion and social welfare are very different. We further develop an efficient solution algorithm to find all equilibrium solutions. Our analysis shows that even if AVs act in a non-cooperative manner, one possible outcome would involve many AVs choosing to cruise, which creates severe congestion to decrease the cost of cruising. However, this outcome can be avoided by a time-based congestion toll, which discourages AVs from cruising for a long period and increases the social welfare. Our analysis also shows parking pricing and provision may not reduce congestion induced by cruising AVs without the help of a congestion toll.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103001
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Automated vehicles
  • Congestion
  • Parking choice
  • Parking policy
  • Time-based toll

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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