NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Carpooling and the Economics of Self-Driving Cars

Michael Ostrovsky, Michael Schwarz

NBER Working Paper No. 24349
Issued in February 2018
NBER Program(s):Environment and Energy Economics, Industrial Organization, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

We study the interplay between autonomous transportation, carpooling, and road pricing. We discuss how improvements in these technologies, and interactions among them, will affect transportation markets. Our main results show how to achieve socially efficient outcomes in such markets, taking into account the costs of driving, road capacity, and commuter preferences. An important component of the efficient outcome is the socially optimal matching of carpooling riders. Our approach shows how to set road prices and how to share the costs of driving and tolls among carpooling riders in a way that implements the efficient outcome.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24349

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