Toward a Systematic Approach to the Design and Evaluation of Automated Mobility-on-Demand Systems: A Case Study in Singapore

  • Kevin Spieser
  • Kyle Treleaven
  • Rick Zhang
  • Emilio Frazzoli
  • Daniel Morton
  • Marco Pavone
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mobility book series (LNMOB)


The objective of this work is to provide analytical guidelines and financial justification for the design of shared-vehicle mobility-on-demand systems. Specifically, we consider the fundamental issue of determining the appropriate number of vehicles to field in the fleet, and estimate the financial benefits of several models of car sharing. As a case study, we consider replacing all modes of personal transportation in a city such as Singapore with a fleet of shared automated vehicles, able to drive themselves, e.g., to move to a customer’s location. Using actual transportation data, our analysis suggests a shared-vehicle mobility solution can meet the personal mobility needs of the entire population with a fleet whose size is approximately 1/3 of the total number of passenger vehicles currently in operation.


Autonomous vehicles Self-driving cars Car sharing Mobility on demand 



This work was partially supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation, under the Future Urban Mobility SMART IRG program. The authors are grateful to the Land Transport Authority of Singapore for providing access to the HITS data.


  1. 1.
    Buehler M, Iagnemma K, Singh S (eds) (2009) The DARPA urban challenge: autonomous vehicles in city traffic. Number 56 in Springer Tracts in advanced robotics. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Eskandarian A (ed) (2012) Handbook of intelligent vehicles. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mitchell WJ, Borroni-Bird CE, Burns LD (2010) Reinventing the automobile: personal urban mobility for the 21st century. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Edelman B (2011) Towards improvement in Singapore’s transportation efficiency and environmental impact. submission to the National Climate Change Secretariat of SingaporeGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Costain C, Ardon C, Habib K (2012) Synopsis of users behavior of a carsharing program: a case study in Toronto. In: Proceedings of transportation research board annual meetingGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brook D (2004) Carsharing: startup issues and new operational models. In: Proceedings of transportation research board annual meetingGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cervero R (2003) City CarShare: First-year travel demand impacts. Transportation research recordGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Stillwater T, Mokhtarian P, Shaheen S (2008) Carsharing and the built environment: a GISbased study of one U.S. operator. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jorge D, Correia G (2013) Carsharing systems demand estimation and defined operations: a literature review. Eur J Transp Infrastruct Res 13(3):201–220Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lorimier A, El-Geneidy AM (2011) Understanding the factors affecting vehicle usage and availability in carsharing networks: a case study of Communauto carsharing from Montreal, Canada. Int J Sustain Transp 7(1):35–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Papanikolaou D (2011) A new system dynamics framework for modelling behavior of vehicle sharing systems. In: Proceedings of symposium on simulation for architecture and urban designGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Barrios J (2012) On the performance of flexible carsharing: a simulation-based approach. JGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Barth M, Todd M (1999) Simulation model performance analysis of a multiple shared vehicle system. Transportation research recordGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kek A, Cheu R, Chor M (2006) Relocation simulation model for multiple-station shared-use vehicle systems. Transportation research recordGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Efthymiou D, Antoniou C, Tyrinopoulos Y (2012) Spatially aware model for optimal site selection: method and application in a greek mobility center. Transportation research recordGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Treleaven k, Pavone M, Frazzoli E (2013) Asymptotically optimal algorithms for one-to-one pickup and delivery problems with applicationsto transportation systems. IEEE Trans Automatic Control 58(9):2261–2276Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pavone M, Smith SL, Frazzoli E, Rus D (2012) Robotic load balancing for mobility-on-demand systems. Int J Robot Res 31(7):839–854Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Smith SL, Pavone M, Schwager M, Frazzoli E, Rus D (2013) Rebalancing the rebalancers: optimally routing vehicles and drivers in mobility-on-demand systems. In: American control conferenceGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Burns LD, Jordan WC, Scarborough BA (2013) Transforming personal mobility. The Earth InstituteGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ruschendorf L (1985) The Wasserstein distance and approximation theorems. Probab Theory Relat Fields 70:117–129MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Baskett F, Chandy KM, Muntz RR, Palacios FG (1975) Open, closed, and mixed networks of queues with different classes of customers. J ACM 22(2):248–260MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    George KD, Xia CH (2011) Fleet-sizing and service availability for a vehicle rental system via closed queueing networks. Eur J Oper Res 211(1):198–207MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Singapore Land Transport Authority (2008) 2008 household interview travel survey background informationGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Treleaven K, Frazzoli E (2013) An explicit formulation of the earth movers distance with continuous road map distances. ArXiv e-prints, Sept 2013Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Land Transport Authority (2012) Singapore land transit statistics in briefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ong R (2011) Ride or drive?: The cost of car ownership vs. public transport in Singapore. MoneySmart. sgGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Colliers International (2012) 2012 parking rate surveyGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    American Automobile Association (2103) Your driving costsGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Minnesota Department of Transportation (2003) The per mile costs of operating automobiles and trucksGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ellram LM (2002) Total cost of ownership. In: Handbuch Industrielles Beschaffungsmanagement. Springer, Berlin, pp 659–671Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Department of Transportation (2013) Summary of travel trends: 2009 national household travel surveyGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    TRB Transit Cooperative Highway Research Program. Transit capacity and quality of service manualGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    U.S. Department of Transportation (2009) Summary of travel trends: 2009 national household travel surveyGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    U.S. Department of Transportation (2011) Revised departmental guidance on valuation of travel time in economic analysisGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    HEATCO (2006) Harmonized European approaches for transport costing and project assessmentGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Singapore yearbook of manpower statistics 2012Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    U.S. Department of Transportation (2011) Revised departmental guidance valuation of travel time economic analysisGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Victoria Transport Policy Institute (2013) Transportation cost and benefit analysis II—travel time costsGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    American Automobile Association (2013) Your driving costsGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Spieser
    • 1
  • Kyle Treleaven
    • 1
  • Rick Zhang
    • 3
  • Emilio Frazzoli
    • 2
  • Daniel Morton
    • 4
  • Marco Pavone
    • 3
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  4. 4.Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and TechnologySingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations