Alejandro Henao, National Renewable Energy Lab Mobility Researcher
How is ride-hailing affecting mobility and energy use?
Disruptive technology and emerging mobility services are redefining passenger travel. Ride-hailing companies (such as Uber, and Lyft) are one such service that gained rapid market share in the past few years and have a notable impact across multiple domains such as vehicle miles traveled, parking, safety, and energy use. Furthermore, ride-hailing represents the early onset of mobility as a service in which transportation is ordered, purchased, and consumed at the point of need, rather than as a small portion of an ongoing monthly budget. Ride-hailing not only impacts the traveler and network, but there are also significant impacts in terms of the built environment, future infrastructure (e.g. parking, curb utilization), fleet management, regulations, and key social, economic, and energy implications.
Although ride-hailing has gained rapid popularity, data and research that can inform impacts on mobility and energy remains scarce. There is a critical knowledge gap in analyzing the conditions that can drive various emerging mobility services towards societal goals. Alejandro will present research on “How is ride-hailing affecting mobility and energy use?” spanning from key research questions, hypotheses, data needs, data collection strategies, and findings from several case studies. The comprehensive research framework is intended to guide the future (re)design of integrated mobility systems, harnessing new technologies and services to help align public and private co-benefits, while also addressing critical potential risks and unintended consequences.
Dr. Alejandro Henao is a mobility researcher with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). His current research focuses on the synergies between transportation and energy, with an emphasis on data collection strategies and innovation to answer key research questions including impacts of ride-hailing and future mobility. Alejandro holds a PhD in civil engineering from the interdisciplinary sustainable urban infrastructure program at the University of Colorado. His passion for transportation, people, cities and the environment has driven him – literally – to explore the field first-hand. Realizing the difficulty in obtaining data directly from Uber and Lyft, Alejandro designed an ethnographic and survey-based experiment by conducting research while driving for both companies. With a strong background in engineering, data & research, and a diverse skill set; he continues to work in topics that would meaningfully influence the future of mobility.