Research Projects

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Research Projects

STATUS: In Progress YEAR: 2022 TOPIC AREA: Connected and autonomous systems Public transit, land use, and urban mobility CENTER: NCST

Stochastic Ride Sharing System with Flexible Pickup and Drop-Off

Project Summary

Project number: NCST-22-14
Funding source: U.S Department of Transportation
Contract number: 69A3551747114
Total cost: $100,000.00
Performance period: 10/1/2022 to 9/30/2023

Project description

Ridesharing systems can significantly improve the efficiency of transportation systems by utilizing unused spaces in a vehicle while at the same time providing cheap, flexible and convenient commute options to urban passengers. Several studies have shown that ridesharing has the potential to reduce traffic congestion and pollution while increasing commuter flexibility. A few commercial ride sharing services already exist that provide on-demand rides to their customers. However, research shows that commercial ridesharing exacerbates the traffic congestion in urban areas by increasing traffic and dead-head miles. One alternative is carpool ridesharing where the drivers are regular commuters who pickup and deliver other commuters to their destination with the hope of recouping some of their travel costs at the price of increasing travel time. 

A big obstacle in planning a carpool ridesharing system is the uncertainty that is inherent in the system. These uncertainties typically arise due to unknown road conditions that affect travel time and passenger or driver cancellations that result in uncertain demand and capacity of the system. Uncertainties also occur due to the passengers possibly having flexible pickup and drop-off locations. Although previous literature on ride-sharing systems have incorporated these sources of uncertainties individually,  there is a lack of literature that focuses on all three sources of uncertainties together. Since these uncertainties are inherent to the system, it is important to consider them in conjunction. The purpose of this research is to provide a ride-sharing planning scheme that will consider all three sources of uncertainties to provide a robust travel plan while at the same time reducing travel time for the commuters. This research will also focus on having common pickup and drop-off points for multiple passengers that will reduce detours and the use of HOV lanes which will reduce the total traveling time of the commuters. 


Maged Dessouky
Dean's Professor and Chair, Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
3715 McClintock Ave.
Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center (GER) 206ALos Angeles, CA 90089-0193
United States
[email protected]