Driving the Future: A Management Flight Simulator of the US Automobile Market

David R. Keith, Sergey Naumov, John Sterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background. A significant gap exists in the United States between ambitious regulatory goals requiring firms to introduce hybrid and electric vehicles, and consumer adoption of these technologies to date. However, the interventions required to close this gap are not obvious due to the complex feedbacks and time delays that govern alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) diffusion. Purpose. The purpose of this article is to introduce Driving the Future (DtF), a free, web-based management flight simulator to explore the effects of automaker strategies and public policies on the US automotive market. Method. We develop a behavioral, dynamic model portraying multiple automobile and fuel types, fueling infrastructure, and consumer choices, enabling users to rapidly experiment with how a wide array of decisions and assumptions shape the dynamics of AFV diffusion out to 2050. Results. We describe how the simulator can be used to explore various scenarios for AFV adoption, and discuss how the simulator can help improve mental models and decision-making. We present evidence from classroom and online experiments, demonstrating that the simulation is both effective in developing users’ understanding of AFV diffusion dynamics, and enjoyable to use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-769
Number of pages35
JournalSimulation and Gaming
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications


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