Towards Sustainable Liveable City: Management Operations of Shared Autonomous Cargo-Bike Fleets
Finding a sustainable mobility solution for the future is one of the most competitive challenges in the logistics and mobility sector at present. Policymakers, researchers, and companies are working intensively to provide novel options that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. While autonomous car-sharing services have been introduced as a very promising solution, an innovative alternative is arising: the use of self-driving bikes. Shared autonomous cargo-bike fleets are likely to increase the livability and sustainability of the city, as the use of cargo-bikes in an on-demand mobility service can replace the use of cars for short-distance trips and enhance connectivity to public transportation. However, more research is needed to develop this new concept. In this paper, we investigate different rebalancing strategies for an on-demand, shared-use, self-driving cargo-bikes service (OSABS). We simulate a case study of the system in the inner city of Magdeburg using AnyLogic. The simulation model allows us to evaluate the impact of rebalancing on service level, idle mileage, and energy consumption. We conclude that the best proactive rebalancing strategy for our case study is to relocate bikes only between neighboring regions. We also acknowledge the importance of bike relocation to improve service efficiency and reduce fleet size.