Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Asad J. Khattak

Committee Members

Christopher R. Cherry, Jerry D. Everett, Haileab Hilafu


Transportation electrification and automation are growing societal trends and considered promising pathways to enhance the safety, mobility, efficiency, and sustainability of the surface transportation system. At this early stage of transportation electrification and automation, one of the most critical issues is whether and to what extent people are willing to adopt electric vehicle (EV) and automated vehicle (AV) technologies in the future. Another critical issue, especially concerning transportation automation, is how to thoroughly ensure the safety of automated driving performance to resolve safety concerns about AVs, which is one of the key challenges to AV adoption. In this regard, the dissertation aims to provide new knowledge and deep insights regarding the readiness for transportation electrification and automation in terms of safety and future adoption by investigating how different types of travelers are willing to embrace EV and AV technologies and what safety-related challenges the automated driving systems are facing. First, the dissertation systematically analyzes how individuals become inclined to use AV-based travel options and adopt alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs). For this, an “AV inclination index” is developed to quantify individual travelers’ inclination toward AV-based travel options encompassing owning an AV, using AV ride-hailing services, and using Shared AV (SAV) ride-hailing services. Importantly, the dissertation reveals a meaningful relationship between the “AV inclination index” and AFV adoption. Considering that the commercial sector has the potential to adopt a considerable amount of EVs in the future, the dissertation explores commercial light-duty fleet owners’ intention to adopt different types of EVs. Paying attention to early adopters’ experiences and perspectives, the dissertation investigates BEV owners’ satisfaction and willingness to repurchase a BEV in the future. Given that the safety of AVs is one of the critical factors associated with individual travelers’ willingness to use AVs in the future, the dissertation performs an exhaustive analysis of crashes involving AVs tested on public roads to provide a better understanding of AV safety performance. Based on the findings from each chapter, the dissertation provides the vehicle and transportation industries, engineers, planners, and policymakers with practical implications for a smooth transition to transportation electrification and automation.

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