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A Decision Framework for One-way Carsharing Systems with User- and Operator-based Relocations

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


One-way carsharing systems provide sustainable transportation in terms of reduced vehicle ownership, congestion and mobility-related emission rates. One-way systems allow users to return the vehicle to any designated parking spot. Due to asymmetric demand, this flexibility results in supply-demand imbalances. Carsharing operators often use personnel to relocate vehicles to provide vehicle/parking spots when and where they are needed, however, they cause a significant increase in the operational costs. One other way to manage the asymmetric demand is to make users modify their trip preferences, which decreases the need for operator-based relocations by offering incentives.

In this talk, I am going to talk about a reservation-decision framework that we developed to decide the alternative options and incentives to users in a one-way carsharing system. This framework considers one request at a time and decides to offer either the exact request or an alternative, considering the probability of the user accepting the (alternative) offer (with a discounted price) and the net profit from serving the request. To make this decision, we use a mathematical model that finds the option with the highest expected net profit. To make solution time shorter, we also propose two heuristic approaches. We tested these approaches on a real-world data from Nice, France. Results show that, the heuristics give results quite close to the exact model, and offering alternative options to users with operator-based relocations increases the profitability of the system significantly.

External organisation

NameLoughborough University, Loughborough, U.K.