What Comes After Emergence? Research Roundup, December 2018.


*The Research Roundup is a semi-regular list of outside research we have found interesting and think is worth sharing. The views and conclusions of the papers’ authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone affiliated with TPI. The information below includes edited author abstracts*

In the last decade an incredible number of new technologies and applications have hit the manufacturing and consumer markets. Though perhaps still “emerging,” technologies such as autonomous vehicles, blockchain technology, and smart sensor consumer products have been attracting new users and applications. Consumer familiarity, acceptance, and use of these and other technologies has increased significantly in the last decade and are likely to continue to gain momentum. Several recent articles have reflected on current applications of emerging technologies and what these applications and reactions of the public can tell us about the near- and distant future of autonomous vehicles, blockchain-supported transactions, and the Internet of Things. Click through to read a few!

Descriptions of papers below are edited abstracts from authors

Collaborative Urban Transportation: Recent Advances in Theory and Practice

Catherine Cleophas, Caitlin Cottrill, Jan Fabian, Ehmk, and Kevin Tierney

Increasing urbanization has turned transporting freight from, to, and within urban areas into a major challenge. Freight transportation represents a lifeline for urban retail and industry but causes significant negative impacts on the quality of living in urban areas in terms of congestion, emissions and space consumption. City logistics initiatives have long suggested the need for collaborative and environmentally friendly urban transportation that could alleviate the negative impacts of urban transportation, but these face organizational and technological challenges of collaboration. Given technological advancements and innovative business models, concepts of collaborative urban transportation could contribute to a future paradigm of more sustainable and customer-friendly urban transportation. In this work, the authors collect and discuss contributions to collaborative freight transportation in urban areas with focus on recent publications (i.e. those published over the past ten years). They analyze vertical and horizontal approaches of collaboration from an operations research perspective and point out strategic, tactical, and operational planning problems and solution approaches. To highlight research gaps and future research opportunities, they present innovative examples of collaborative urban transportation and analyze factors of failure and success. Collecting recent advances in theory and practice of collaborative urban transportation allows them to distill alternative visions of future collaborative freight transportation in urban areas.

Measures of Baseline Intent to use Automated Vehicles: a Case Study of Texas Cities

Ipek N.Sener, Johanna Zmud, and Thomas Williams

Early consistent measurement of intent to use automated vehicles will help explore the public’s reactions, improve the knowledge base, and facilitate an understanding of the potential benefits that could be achieved. Adopting a car technology acceptance model (CTAM), online surveys were implemented in several Texas cities including 2016 survey of Dallas, Houston, and Waco, which is an extension of a prior 2015 survey study in Austin. Adding different geographic content provided an opportunity to assess trends and to obtain more robust results and different insights on the consumer acceptance and travel behavior impacts of self-driving vehicles. Following an extensive descriptive analyses, a multivariate model was estimated to examine the factors influencing intent to use in Texas cities. The results show an increase in intent to use from 2015 to 2016. Demographic variables mattered but to lesser extent compared to psychosocial variables of the CTAM, which were highly significant in predicting intent to use. Younger individuals, males and individuals with physical conditions that prohibiting them from driving had a higher likelihood of intent to use. Travel behavior characteristics were also important. For example, individuals owning a vehicle with highly automated features had a higher intention to use. The strongest associations with intent to use were observed for attitudes toward self-driving vehicles, performance expectation, perceived safety, and social influence. In moving forward, it will be important to continue to monitor and track the behavior with diverse populations, and build an evidence-based consensus through continuous measurement on intent to use automated vehicles.

Robots, Tasks, and Trade

Erhan Artuc, Paulo Bastos, and Bob Rijkers

This paper examines the effects of robotization on trade patterns, wages and welfare. It develops a Ricardian model with two-stage production and trade in intermediate and final goods in which robots can take over some tasks previously performed by humans in a subset of industries. An increase in robot adoption in the North reduces the cost of production and thereby impacts trade in final and intermediate goods with the South. The empirical analysis uses ordinary least squares and instrumental variable regressions exploiting variation in exposure to robots across countries and sectors. Both reveal that greater robot intensity in own production leads to: (i) a rise in imports sourced from less developed countries in the same industry; and (ii) an even stronger increase in exports to those countries. Counterfactual simulations indicate that Northern robotization raises domestic welfare, but initially depresses wages. However, this adverse effect is likely to be reversed by further reductions in robot prices. Northern robotization may lead to higher wages and welfare in the South.

Blockchain’s Adoption in IoT: The Challenges, and a Way Forward

Imran Makhdooma, Mehran Abolhasana, Haider Abbasbc, and Wei Nid

The underlying technology of Bitcoin is blockchain, which was initially designed for financial value transfer only. Nonetheless, due to its decentralized architecture, fault tolerance and cryptographic security benefits such as pseudonymous identities, data integrity and authentication, researchers and security analysts around the world are focusing on the blockchain to resolve security and privacy issues of IoT. However, presently, not much work has been done to assess blockchain’s viability for IoT and the associated challenges. Hence, to arrive at intelligible conclusions, this paper carries out a systematic study of the peculiarities of the IoT environment including its security and performance requirements and progression in blockchain technologies. The authors identify the gaps by mapping the security and performance benefits inferred by the blockchain technologies and some of the blockchain-based IoT applications against the IoT requirements. They also uncover some practical issues involved in the integration of IoT devices with the blockchain. In the end, the authors propose a way forward to resolve some of the significant challenges to the blockchain’s adoption in IoT.