0LAUK0 2015 01 OurPlan

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Autonomous Bus Transport System

To clarify what we meant with an autonomous public transport system we made the following document as requested. First we decided to choose a certain public transport system since not choosing one only caused confusion. We were all thinking in the direction of busses with our description of the system so we choose busses as the public transport.

Now what do we mean with an autonomous bus transport system? This system will consist of a scheduling system for busses to create a good passenger flow and decrease waiting time. This scheduling system could send extra busses when it gets crowded and choose more efficient routes if there are no passengers waiting at the coming bus stops. Users can check in at the bus stop or with their mobile phone apps. The scheduling system will then optimize the routes by taking this information into account. Different approaches can be used to optimize this schedule. We will analyze them and take feedback data from the survey. By putting this feedback data into our simulation model we are able to analyze and find the solution. Furthermore we want to redesign the infrastructure in small aspects. We want to analyze the placement of the bus depot and see how this would help to regulate the passenger flow. For example multiple small bus depots, which are located around the city or one large depot on a single location. With a simulation we want to test how effective our system is. By creating a small part of the road network of Eindhoven, we want to create an environment to test our system. In this road network, there will be bus stops where passengers arrive who want to move to another location. The happiness of the passengers is “measured” and will increase or decrease depending on the waiting time, crowdedness, travel time and other variables we may get out of the survey. By doing a survey, we can find out what users find most important for a comfortable ride, whether this is waiting time, crowdedness, travel time, or something else. After the survey we can use this information in our simulation to simulate an accurate “happiness level”. We will know what people find most important and can adapt the bus schedules accordingly.


Objectives:

1. We will make a design of an (autonomous) bus transport system. we will focus mostly on the schedules, pathing of the bus, low traveling and waiting times and a network (some sort of communication) between busses. The network spreads information about how many people are waiting at a bus stop. When there are many passengers waiting for the bus, a bus can contact another bus that wasn’t in service. Otherwise, when there are no passengers waiting, the bus can skip that bus stop and take a shorter route.

2. We will make a simulation of this system to optimize “passenger happiness” (explained in the previous chapter).

3. Finally we will write a report that contains the required information (including the survey results and the outcomes of the literature studies and simulations) and a conclusion on the feasibility of our designed system, followed by a discussion.


Approaches:

1. Literature studies: a. Past and current attempts of making a bus schedule network. b. What the regulations are for, for example, alternating a bus route. c. How the current system copes with rush hours.

2. Survey: We want to make a survey. Our target audiences are bus passengers and people in neighborhoods. We at least want to know the following requirements of the transportation system:

a. Waiting Time

b. Crowdedness

c. Travel time

We will ask people to put these requirements in order from most important to least important. These data can be used to build our simulation model. We will provide three basic requirements but our target audience can add more as long as they put it in order of importance.

3. Social impacts:

a. With our survey, we want to know if, for example, people want busses and busstops in their streets. For this reason, we want to research the impact of busses on different kinds of roads (roads with different speed limits, multiple lanes, bus lanes, etc.).

b. Another social impact is that on elderly people. When there is for instance a check-in system with your smartphone, it might be difficult for elderly people.

c. If the system does provide better service, we may able to reduce the number of private cars and help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which would be great for the air in the city.

4. Society: We will look into the current rules regarding autonomous driving and public transport, and look into combining those two. We will also evaluate the impacts on society of public transport, including economic impacts due to job changes around public transport when busses become autonomous.

5. Enterprise: Our system will be made for busses. But in the future it can be used with autonomous busses. It’s cheaper because then they don’t need any bus drivers and the accurate control will reduce fuel usage. So we want to find the pros and cons of both. Are they worth investing in for companies or the government? Does it create new opportunities for other businesses to take off?

6. Ethics: We also want to look at the ethics regarding autonomous decision making, especially when an autonomous bus is used. Responsibility in case of an accident is still a problem that has to be tackled. General satisfaction and individual happiness will always be a problem, but we will look into it and analyze it to approach a balance point between User, Society and Enterprise.

7. Simulation: We want to make a simulation of an autonomous schedule network. The simulation model will be built as a 2.5d application. And we will input parameters like importances of different requirements to calculate the estimation of happiness of individuals and society. We will also track on other key values like fuel consumption. We start with the current system of bus lines/stops/schedules to find out for example how efficient the current system is, and its cons are. If the first simulation works, we can start looking at Shortcuts (skipping certain stops) and Variable schedules. Furthermore, we want to use a section of the road layout of Eindhoven; we will focus on the larger streets. First, the roads of the current road system will be used, and later on we will be adding shortcuts for example. We think it is feasible to use for a simulation.


Questions asked at the last meeting:

1. What will be simulated?

A simulation of an autonomous schedule network will be made. The simulation is a network of streets with bus stops. The network takes into account how many people are at the bus stops, so when there are many passengers waiting for the bus, the network can contact an another bus. Otherwise, when there are no passengers waiting, the bus can skip that bus stop and take a shorter route.

2. What are the requirements? (Importance follows from the survey)

a. Low waiting time b. Crowdedness c. Low travel time d. Other requirements may also follow from the survey

3. Define system: Scheduling system? Bus?

This is explained in the chapter ‘(Autonomous) Bus Transport System’.

4. Why comfort? How could it influence the scheduling?

This is explained at the chapter ‘(Autonomous) Bus Transport System’.

5. Will all aspects of USE be addressed? What about social impact?

This is explained under the chapter ‘Approaches’.

6. What is the advantage of an autonomous bus instead of one driven by a driver?

Computers are much less likely to make mistakes than humans. Computers don’t have to be paid, need vacations or get ill, unlike bus drivers. Also since the passenger flow is variable over time the amount of busses is also variable over time. With an autonomous system a new bus can be used at very moment in time as long as there are busses. If the system would not be autonomous there would have to be bus drivers available at every time.

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