Operations Management of Vehicle Sharing Systems
The emerging sharing economy has encouraged the rapid rise of vehicle sharing businesses. Much of this growth is due to the innovation of the free-float model, which allows users to start and end rentals at any location within a defined service region. Compared with conventional models of vehicle sharing, the free-float model offers its users the flexibility to make one-way, two-way and multi-stop trips, and as a result offer a more viable alternative to individual vehicle ownership. On the other hand, the flexibility of free-float model leads to a number of operations management challenges that must be overcome for such vehicle sharing systems to be economically sustainable. In this chapter, we review several operations management problems in vehicle sharing including system design, vehicle repositioning, fleet sizing, dynamic pricing and reservation policy. In particular, we discuss the optimization models for service region design and fleet repositioning in details.
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