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Artificial Intelligence technology for sustainable ridesharing in the city

Scientists at the Institute for the Investigation in Artificial Intelligence of the CSIC (IIIA-CSIC) have developed a technology for ride-sharing. The goal is allowing people to share their cars with the users who have to do the same trip, hence doing a more sustainable use of the vehicle and reducing the traffic in the cities.

The team has developed a programming code in order to create a ride-sharing platforma in the city. Image: Pixabay.The team has developed an algorithm that assesses the availability of particular cars and destinations of each user to calculate the most efficient paths. The technology enables the creation of a platform for ride-sharing, which does not include neither professional drivers nor new vehicles in the city (the idea is to share trips with pre-existing cars). This approach is motivated by recent scientific studies which demonstrated that ride-sharing services –such as Uber (which works with professional drivers fleet)– have increased the number of cars in the city, resulting in more pollution and traffic congestion.

The project has studied databases of cities such as New York to estimate the number of existing petitions and to know the car park of each major city. The algorithm is able to manage 400 petitions per minute.

“The code values two factors, service and environmental impact,” explains Filippo Bistaffa, researcher in charge of the project at the IIIA-CSIC. The technology values the service for the user and the choice of the best route for each case, always seeking the least polluting route to reduce CO2. The algorithm prioritises “maximising CO2 reduction” over “quality of service” to contribute to more sustainable spaces.

The goal is to enable city councils or Administrations to implement the code in order to create intelligent ride-sharing platforms for the citizens to use as a complementary way to public transport.