Personalised Public Transportation: A New Mobility Model for Urban and Suburban Transportation

This paper explores a new vision for urban and suburban transportation, termed Personalised Public Transportation, which builds upon recent trends in vehicle sharing, electric vehicles, mobile payments and cloud computing. The goal is to build on the best of the worlds of private and public transportation. Private transportation offers ownership, comfort and convenience, but is higher cost, and subject to externalities (traffic jams, pollution, etc.). Public transportation is efficient, cheaper and has lower energy/Carbon footprint, but has a last-mile problem (access) and low spatio-temporal coverage in suburbia. We envisage a future model of leasing public transportation via a service similar to cell-phone services, where the user pays for convenience and sharing of a network. We describe the key design features inherent to this mobility model. The vehicular platform allows the entire fleet to be operated and managed via a cloud computing service in order to maximise convenience and minimise cost. An optimisation formulation to quantify the benefits of Personalised Public Transportation shows that it is a promising approach for transforming generations of transportation into sustainable ecosystems.

By: Arun Vishwanath, Heng Soon Gan, Shivkumar Kalyanaraman, Stephan Winter, Iven Mareels

Published in: RC25472 in 2014


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