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The Counterfactual Route

Counterfactual thinking is a well-known term in psychology, which arises when the actual realization of an event generates an outcome worse than the decision maker’s anticipation. An example of counterfactual thinking applied to route choice is, “What would have happened had I taken the non-chosen route?” which is a question that many drivers often ponder, hoping that their chosen route was the best option. I developed a system that attempts to answer the question regarding non-chosen alternative routes to a given destination by determining actual times of arrival (ATAs) from the data collected from other participatory users driving on the non-chosen routes. The proposed system offers a direct, actual travel time comparison among route choices. With the collection of actual travel time comparisons (i.e. personal trip diary of ATAs on chosen and non-chosen routes), users are able to make strategic decisions on, and self-assessments of, their route choices.

counterfactual