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Implications of the Relocation Type and Frequency for Shared Autonomous Bike Service: Comparison between the Inner and Complete City Scenarios for Magdeburg as a Case Study

Published: 11 May 2022
 by  MDPI

Abstract: Finding a sustainable mobility solution for the future is one of the most competitive challenges in the logistics and transportation sector nowadays. Researchers, universities, and companies are working intensively to provide novel mobility options that can be environmentally friendly and sustainable. While autonomous car-sharing services have been introduced as a very promising solution, an innovative alternative is arising using self-driving bikes. Shared autonomous cargo bike fleets are likely to increase the livability and sustainability of the city as the use of cargo bikes in an on-demand mobility service can replace the use of cars for short-distance trips and enhance connectivity to public transportation. However, more research is still needed to develop this new concept. To address this research gap, this paper examines the on-demand shared-use autonomous bikes service (OSABS) from a fleet management perspective. In fact, such a system requires good management strategies in order to ensure its efficiency. Through an agent-based simulation of a case study in Magdeburg, we investigate various parameters that can influence the performance and the service quality of OSABS such as the rebalancing frequency and the relocation type. Tests were performed for two different operational areas: the inner city and the complete city of Magdeburg. We conclude with different management insights for an optimized functioning of the system.
Keywords: fleet management / autonomous bikes / on-demand mobility / future transportation

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