6 Steps to Running a Successful Fleet Scenario with Immense
As a transportation or mobility service provider, you have a crucial role in shaping the transportation revolution: combining new technologies and business models to transform the way we live, work and move. To help you with this considerable task, we’ve created Immense: an intelligent digital world and mobility simulation platform. We’ve packed decades of transport modelling capability into this web-based solution so that you can make better decisions about new mobility solutions
In this article, we outline the 6 easy steps you take to generate your first Immense scenario, allowing you to design, test and assess future mobility solutions.
The world is available for you to explore. Choose the location for your scenario from hundreds of available digital worlds and select the day-type that you want to simulate. This could be a world that you already operate a fleet in or one that you are considering for a future deployment.
Our digital worlds are built from road network mapping data and include representative congestion levels across the 24 hours for the day chosen.
If you require adapted versions of the existing networks, perhaps as a result of geofencing, the inability to operate on certain road types or wanting to consider a wider range of congestion situations, you can always request these variations from our friendly team.
Understanding potential trip demand is crucial for designing the right fleet service. Knowing where and when people or goods want to travel allows you to implement a customer-centric and commercially viable service.
At present, Immense enables you to either:
- upload your datasets that describe trip patterns on the network (origin location, destination location and time of trip); or
- randomise travel demand patterns across the network (based on selecting the total number of trips across the day).
In a future enhancement of our platform and thanks to partnerships with our global data providers, we are building an additional tool that allows you to utilise real-world travel demand patterns in the platform. Stay tuned for this future update.
For selected geography and identified demand, you can now plan a compatible fleet service.
Fleet configuration requirements replicate the primary fleet decisions you make in the real world – how many and what type of vehicles. We have car, courier van and bus specifications pre-loaded in the platform but can load custom vehicle specifications into your private area of the platform.
We also enable some new mobility options including battery size or fuel capacity, ride-pooling and recharge policies. These additional parameters of modern mobility increase complexity, but with simulation, you have control to optimise these factors.
Another key component of being a modern fleet operator is the ability to adapt the dispatch management algorithm for different applications. Immense enables you to test for single-trip services based on shortest distance or shortest time, or pooled service based on maximising occupancy or minimising passenger delay.
You can also experiment with ‘pre-positioning’. This involves using a level of demand prediction visibility for your vehicles on the network, enabling them to move to new locations in anticipation of future demand. If done well, this will reduce the waiting time for your customers and help cities with better kerb management.
Running a fleet involves more than just vehicles, especially if you are operating electric cars, buses or vans.
Immense enables you to consider the impact of alternative infrastructure configurations that support your fleet (refuelling stations, charging locations and fleet depots). You select the location, number of bays and type (kW output) of charge points.
As a baseline, you may wish to run with existing infrastructure to understand fleet performance, before testing the addition of new assets to understand the impact on fleet performance and de-risking the capital investment required and associated ongoing operational cost.
Once you have a location selected, demand identified, fleet configured and supporting infrastructure in place, your scenario is ready for simulation.
Now that you’ve run and simulated your configured scenario, or scenarios, you need to assess the outputs to find your most preferable scenario.
We offer powerful yet simple analytics within the platform that enables you to assess and compare scenarios faster. Depending on your objectives and key service level indicators, we generally provide insights into three core categories:
The efficiency of trip movement around a city is more important than ever. Our analytics help you understand the rightsizing of the fleet (how many trips were served as a percentage of entire trip demand) and consumer satisfaction (what was the average passenger waiting time and trip duration).
The performance of vehicles is largely dependent on configuration. Our analytics helps you consider metrics such as the performance of your fleet vehicles (total and average distances travelled) and efficiency of operations (percentage of distance travelled by the operational state – in service, on-call, idle or on-charge).
The energy and transportation domains now overlap more than ever. We, therefore, allow you to consider the energy impact of scenarios. This includes charge point utilisation and total fuel supplied to vehicles across the day.
You can visualise all metrics as side-by-side comparisons or use scatterplots to discover multi-scenario trends.
With Immense, you also retain the ability to export the datasets and interrogate them with your business intelligence tools.
For effective decision making, one scenario is never enough. Immense allows you to batch the generation of multiple scenarios for more insightful experimentation.
Once you’ve run a baseline scenario, you can select the parameters that you want to ‘sweep’ to find optimal results. This could include the day of the week, the number of vehicles in the fleet or the type of vehicle configuration itself.
When you have multiple scenarios set-up to as an experiment, you can ‘save & run’ once again to trigger all cloud-based scenarios to be run and subsequently comparable.
So, there you have it. Generating and analysing scenarios for future mobility solutions could not be easier with Immense.
Depending on your requirements, this can also be run via API (to be discussed in a separate article) for a more integrated approach to applying simulation in fleet operations.
If you want to see the platform in action or try the 6 steps yourself, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.