In the DynamITe competence project, we develop new models, solution methods, and basic software for optimized transport of goods and people in an ever more dynamic world.
Current optimization-based journey planners for road travel and public transport have become indispensable tools for modern enterprises and citizens. They contribute to more efficient travel and better use of infrastructure. However, they neither react to deviations in an adequate way, nor consider all relevant ways of travel from door to door.
An increasing number of organizations utilize optimization-based software tools for vehicle routing, with substantial improvements. Such tools optimize the use of a fleet of vehicles to serve customer requests in the best way possible. They automatically generate a plan that specifies the best sequence of requests for each vehicle. Vehicle routing tools of today are lacking capabilities for handling dynamic changes, have virtually no functions for reactive maintenance of the vehicle routing plan when changes occur, and they are primarily used by large organizations.
In the DynamITe competence project, our main goal is to develop the knowledge, methods and software needed as the basis for a novel transport planning technology that is able to utilize real-time information. Our vision is a user-friendly ITS technology for planning, available to virtually anyone, that is based on a "live", up-to-date representation of the current situation, and with updated prognoses. The expected results from DynamITe is a basis for needed innovations in dynamic transport planning technology that will enable novel transport services, lead to more efficient use of infrastructure, encourage increased use of public transport, and reduce costs and environmental damage for society.
The project owner is SINTEF, with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA), Distribution Innovation AS (DI), ITS Norway, and NTNU as the initial partners. NTNU hosts the DynamITe PhD. We also collaborate with our scientific network through visits, workshops, and organizing sessions/streams at major conferences. Ruter AS, the public transport company in greater Oslo, joined the DynamITe consortium 2018. Their goal is to provide Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), where Ruter takes care of the whole journey, with accompanying journey planning tools that handle dynamics and all relevant travel modes, including city-bikes and flexible mini-buses that transport travelers between their doorstep and public transport. DynamITe is funded by the Research Council of Norway, NPRA, DI, and Ruter.
DI and SINTEF develop methods and software for a web-based, service for dynamic vehicle routing. Prototypes based on improvements of SINTEF's VRP Solver Spider have been tested by DI on real cases with good results, primarily on last mile delivery of goods from Internet-shopping to households. SINTEF is developing a new version of Spider targeted at dynamic vehicle routing, primarily as a research prototype, but with a next generation industrial vehicle routing solver aimed at a wide range of applications as the goal.
The work on methods for journey planning builds on SINTEF's journey planner Dynamo and results from the recently finished EU project BonVoyage. These results are taken further, as Ruter and SINTEF have started developing methods and prototype tools for dynamic MaaS journey planning. SINTEF has delivered a journey planning demonstrator based on Dynamo to Ruter. It supports use of city bikes, private bikes, walking, public transport and car. The feedback is positive. Ruter and SINTEF have integrated Dynamo as an alternative route finder in a prototype of the next generation RuterReise app for personal journey planning. We also discuss new cases for dial-a-ride.
Lars Dahle started his 3-year DynamITe PhD fellowship at NTNU November 2015. His topic is vehicle routing with crowdshipping. The defense is planned for Q3 2019. Student Eirik Oskari Halvorsen at NTNU works on his project assignment 'Optimization Problems for Mobility-as-a-Service' Q2 and Q3 2018, with external supervision from SINTEF. The plan is to extend the work to a master thesis 2019.
DynamITe collaborates with Aarhus University and the University of Braunschweig on research regarding carbon emission effects of transport. It shows that consolidation of freight, and information exchange between freight forwarders, both may give large savings. The results are published in one popular science article, six conference publications, and two scientific papers.
DynamITe has so far produced 9 published journal papers, 22 published conference papers (7 invited), 2 invited popular talks, and 1 popular science article.