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Socal Welfare September 9, 2019

How Many Vehicles Does a City Need?

A group of scientists at MIT has structured another calculation that can figure what number of vehicles are expected to satisfy the need for vehicle sharing administrations in large cities.

One of the things to come viewpoints for going around the city respects sharing versatility , or vehicle sharing administrations that plan to lessen traffic and ozone-depleting substance outflows in urban regions. Like the present cabs, later on, there will be self-governing vehicles driven by privately owned businesses prepared to take us from one piece of the city to the next at a humble cost. No issues up until now. Be that as it may, by what method will these organizations know what number of vehicles they will require in each city on the planet?

To propose a solution on the pages of Nature is a team of researchers led by Carlo Ratti, director of the Senseable City Lab of MIT. “We have begun to examine this problem motivated by the growing demand for shared mobility, which will probably become even stronger with the arrival of autonomous driving vehicles,” explains the expert. “The question we started with was how many vehicles do we need to meet the needs in a city like, say, New York?”

Previously, the researchers had tried to answer this question using the traveling salesman problem , one of the typical case studies of theoretical computer science : given a network of cities, connected via roads, it is possible to find the path of shorter distance that a traveling salesman must follow to visit all the cities once and only once. A problem, apparently simple, whose solution actually puts a strain on even the most powerful computers available today. So far, the only possibility, in fact, was to process all the possible paths on a graph, consisting of nodes (cities) and arcs (roads) for the subsequent choice of the shortest route. This method, of course, is impossible to apply for larger graphs (ie with more possible destinations) and therefore for cities like New York. “If we were to consider the possibility of replacing the current vehicle system of this city with an optimized fleet, we should find the best way to cover the approximately 500,000 trips made in one day, which are currently served by about 13,500 vehicles,” comments the co-author Paolo Santi.

In the new study, the researchers designed a new algorithm, called the Vehicle Sharing Network, to find the best way to share rides in a big city. In fact, their algorithm does not only take into account destinations and roads to reach them but also the fact that two routes can be offered by the same vehicle.

By testing this algorithm on a data set of 150 million of routes performed in New York in the course of a year, and found that it would also be possible to decrease by 30% the number of vehicles needed to bring to your destination all passengers, reorganizing simply service and optimizing it with a simple smartphone app . “If we think of Manhattan as a whole, we could theoretically satisfy its demand for mobility with around 140,000 vehicles, almost half of today’s number, ” the authors specify.”Our study shows that mobility problems can be addressed not necessarily with more vehicles, but with more intelligence. In other words, what we need is less asphalt and more silicon ”.

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