Vehicle Routing Problem for Electric Vehicles

June 01, 2020 DataCafé Season 1 Episode 3
Vehicle Routing Problem for Electric Vehicles
Show Notes

How can we generate efficient routes for a large fleets of vehicles that have to make many thousands of deliveries a day while taking into account breaks, shift patterns and traffic conditions? Now let's make those vehicles electric and we need to take into account vehicle battery charge level, recharging station locations and anticipated energy efficiency. It's a challenging problem!

Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) is the optimisation problem that describes all manifested delivery operations. It provides an optimal way of sorting deliveries onto multiple vehicles and providing each vehicle with an optimal sequence for delivery. The problem is NP-hard and suffers from a combinatorial explosion of solutions as the number of vehicles and deliveries increases.

We speak to Merve Keskin of the Warwick Business School about extending VRP as an area of optimisation to electric vehicles with a number of interesting developments:

  • Keeping track of battery level en route and inserting possible stops at nearby compatible recharging points
  • Allowing delay for possible queues at recharge points
  • Potential for inflight negotiation on charge point booking so as to minimise contention for resource and wait times on long journeys.

With interview guest Dr. Merve Keskin, Warwick Business School and KTP fellow.

Further reading

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Recording date: 28 Feb. 2020
Interview date: 12 Feb. 2020

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