New ride sharing algorithm promises better deal for riders and drivers

National News 1

New Delhi, September 4 (India Science Wire) : Ride sharing
on app-based taxi services
is catching up. Now researchers at the Indian
Institute of Technology Delhi have developed an algorithm that can guide
taxi drivers
to take a route where they can find more commuters for sharing.
They believe this algorithm can make shared rides more profitable for drivers
and reduce waiting time for commuters as well.

To make cabs more economical for customers, many taxi-service
companies are promoting ride-share among commuters. Here two or more ride-orders
are completed by a single taxi driver who can complete these rides without
deviating much in a given travel route. The taxi company benefits from such ride
shares as it increases their customer base, reduces fuel and allows them to
maximize profits from limited number of vehicles.

However, often a compatible ride order may not possible on a
given route due to which company may incur loss as it has to notify charges to
ride-share customers even before they take a cab.

“In the current scenario, the appearance of subsequent
compatible customers is left to luck – a taxi moves along the shortest (or
quickest) path for the existing customer and hopes to find additional
compatible customers on its way,” said Dr. Amitabha Bagchi, Associate
Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi while explaining the
problem to India Science Wire.

The new algorithm is more efficient in searching
compatibility between ride-orders.  Called “Share” (Sharing with History-Aware
Route Recommendations), it finds routes beyond shortest paths and recommends a
route that is close in length to the shortest path and offers higher chance of
finding a compatible ride-order.

To verify the algorithms, researchers tested it on real taxi
datasets from New York and Singapore across a range of metrics. The results
showed that routes recommended by the algorithm received up to 40% reduction in
orders without ride-sharing than the shortest path. Also, this reduces waiting
time for customers by 20%.

“We would like to see how our algorithm works on Indian
conditions by collaborating with one of the taxi operators from India. We are
also extending this work for the food delivery business,” said added Dr. Bagchi.

The research team included Chak Fai Yuen, Abhishek Pratap
Singh, Sagar Goyal and Sayan Ranu.

By Dr. Aditi Jain

(India Science Wire)

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