TACA Sim is proposed to investigate human behavior and adaptability under fuel shortage and high price as it is a novel tool that assists in facilitating decision-making for transportation planners. Transportation is one of the major users consuming oil. Due to current and future transportation is seriously relied on car use, the current transport infrastructure will be severely affected if the oil price becomes significantly higher, and availability of oil does not meet requirements caused by peak oil. In order to reduce the dependence of car travel, several strategies for sustainable transport have been proposed in many countries such as UK and USA. The policies are designed principally to meet the primary sustainability aims of reducing the use of private cars and minimizing pollution. Urban form is believed to have a great influence on travel behaviour.

Along with oil consumption, transportation is also the main cause of CO2 emissions. Many research institutes and organisations have put high priority on mitigating the peak oil together with the global CO2 emissions by developing technologies. Nevertheless, the technology development is likely to exacerbate environmental problems. Therefore, this project emphasizes the policy and supply management rather than technological changes so that sustainability of transportation could be reached.

Understanding people’s behaviour adaptation is required as a primitive step for developing the management systems. In order to study human adaptability, the steady state of human activity needs to be perturbed. However, it is not possible to cause a real circumstance of fuel constraint for science. The research has been conducted in order to study people’s travel behaviour and adaptation under the energy constraints of high price and fuel shortage. To monitor and characterise the behaviour and adaptation mechanisms of people, TACA Sim has been planned as a virtual reality in form of PC game. The game has been expected to be a survey tool applied to motivate and induce the people to role-play with the real decision-making. The players will be stimulated to feel situation of permanent energy constraints.

TACA News!  LTNZ has funded a research project to conduct TACA Sim surveys of people at Canterbury and Oamaru over the next 18 months.  The data will show how people of different income levels adjust their travel demand in response to rising fuel prices. 

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