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eCab: Simulation-based system for the sustainable management of a fleet of electric taxicabs

Project description

The project “eCab: Simulation-based system for the sustainable management of a fleet of electric taxicabs” deals with the microscopic simulation of electric taxicabs in the region of Berlin. The goal is to test if current taxicab trajectories could be served by an electrified fleet and to investigate if other fleet management procedures could yield improvements.

Electric engines for motor vehicles are attractive since emissions are moved from the vehicle to the infrastructure, where they may be avoided completely, e.g. by emission-free electricity generation. However, a broad electrification of the existing vehicles cannot be expected soon; even the stated goal of the German federal government of a million electric vehicles in Germany by 2020 would constitute no more than 2% of the total vehicle fleet. Next to investment costs, another obstacle is the necessity of a comprehensive recharging infrastructure, which cannot be financially viable until a large share of the fleet is electric. Therefore, it is plausible to consider subfleets. Taxis are especially appropriate since they have a high annual mileage and, in consequence, could make a large contribution to the reduction of emissions. In addition, the already existing taxi ranks would be natural locations for charging stations. This is where the present project starts. It does not only test if current taxicab trajectories could be served by a (possibly partially) electrified fleet, but it also investigates if other fleet management procedures could yield improvements, and what disadvantages this might have such as increased vehicle mileage. This will be achieved by a microscopic simulation of the taxicab trajectories, driven by a microscopic, person-based demand for taxicab services. The simulation contains a taxicab dispatch algorithm, which solves a dynamic vehicle routing problem (DVRP) in real time and then dispatches the taxicabs. The system will be developed for the region of Berlin, based on existing simulation work of TU Berlin and existing contacts by DLR to Taxi Berlin. The resultant simulation system will not only be able to answer the above questions, but could also be used in real world fleet operations. The system will also remain available afterwards for additional planning studies in the area of Berlin.

Contact

Prof. Dr. Kai Nagel, TU Berlin

, M.Sc., TU Berlin

dr. inz. Michal Maciejewski, TU Berlin & PUT Poznan

Project partners

Other Information

Publications: see here.

Movies: see here.

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