Road Pricing with Autonomous Links

Lei Zhang, David Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This research seeks to examine road pricing on a network of autonomous highway links. "Autonomous" refers to the links' being competitive and independent and having the objective of maximizing their own profits without regard for either social welfare or the profits of other links. The principal goal of this research is to understand the implications of the adoption of road pricing and privatization on social welfare and the distribution of gains and losses. The specific pricing strategies of autonomous links are evaluated first under the condition of competition for simple networks. An agent-based modeling system is then developed; it integrates an equilibrated travel demand, route choice, and travel time model with a repeated game of autonomous links setting prices to maximize profit. The levels of profit, welfare consequences, and potential cooperative arrangements undertaken by autonomous links are evaluated. By studying how such an economic system may behave under various circumstances, the effectiveness of road pricing and road privatization as public policy can be assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1932
StatePublished - 2005


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