The research and educational activities for this project focus on developing vehicle purchase and use choice models in China to estimate sustainability impacts of various growth scenarios and vehicle technologies and inform a sustainable policy response. This research will include of two major activities: (1) Vehicle purchase and use behavior will be characterized to identify general personal transportation values and potential motorization pathways. This work will use a combination of stated and revealed preference choice modeling methods to quantify characteristics that people choose now, and potential technologies that could be adopted in the near-term. This would ultimately be used to build motorization scenarios with different fuels and technologies, under various economic and policy frameworks. (2) Vehicle growth scenarios will be extended to quantify environmental impacts through life-cycle assessment (LCA) methods. Each scenario (technological and economic) will have varied impacts from an environmental perspective, leading to policies that could minimize environmental impacts within the bounds of other policy objectives. The project will characterize transportation choice behavior in a systematic way, across major Chinese cities, which has not been done before at this scale. This insight will quantify factors, beyond national GDP, that influence motorization, leading to more robust vehicle purchase and mode choice modeling. To this end, viability of alternative fuels will be assessable and the sustainability implications quantifiable. The educational activities will target several audiences, including K-12 students, undergraduate and graduate students. Activities will include a K-12 outreach programs, a freshman seminar, content for new graduate courses, and international experiences at Universities in China. The educational activities will be integrated into the research component by engaging undergraduate and graduate students in the data collection, model development, and policy analysis. This project will be interdisciplinary, so students with varied educational backgrounds will have an opportunity to learn from and teach others to successfully analyze a topic as interdisciplinary as sustainability and transportation choice. The broader impacts of this project include the development of an internationally minded transportation workforce, capable of operating in diverse and challenging environments; the recruitment and inclusion of underrepresented groups in engineering; and the improved understanding of sustainability implications of motorization pathways in China, leading to policy that can reduce local air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy use. This award is co-funded by OISE-China.

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University of Tennessee Knoxville
United States
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