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About this book

This book examines electric car sharing in cities from a variety of perspectives, from service design to simulation, from mathematical modeling to technology deployment, and from energy use improvement to the integration of different kinds of vehicle. The contents reflect the outcomes of the Green Move project, undertaken by Politecnico di Milano with the aim of fostering an innovative and easily accessible electric vehicle sharing system. The first section of the book illustrates the car sharing service, covering service design, the configuration of the vehicle sharing model and the Milan mobility pattern, analysis of local demand and supply, testing of the condominium-based car sharing model, and communication design for social engagement. The second section then explains the technological choices, from the architecture of the system and dynamic applications to information management, the smartphone-based energy-oriented driving assistance system, automatic fleet balancing systems, and real-time monitoring of vehicle positions. In the final section, readers will find descriptions of the simulation model, a model to estimate potential users of the service, and a model for a full-scale electric car sharing service in Milan.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Car-Sharing Evolution and Green Move Project

This introductory chapter briefly outlines the main characteristics of car-sharing services and the main assumptions that authors of this book took into account for designing the innovative service that was the outcome of Green Move project. The second part of the chapter illustrates the overall organization of the book, and the main contents of the three sections: the service, focused on the Green Move service design, the technology, illustrating the technologic solutions realized for the project, and the simulation model, implemented for estimating the performances of different alternatives of car-sharing.
Daniele Fabrizio Bignami, Alberto Colorni, Alessandro Luè, Roberto Nocerino, Matteo Rossi, Sergio Matteo Savaresi

The Service


Service Idea: Creating Mobility Scenarios Through Service Design

The chapter discusses the initial stages of the development of the Green Move research. In particular, the authors focus on the generative phases developed in the early stage of the research process. The content mainly describes the different stages of the service idea development: (i) the research phase aimed at collecting examples of mobility solutions worldwide, (ii) the creative session aimed at sharing ideas among participants to identify design opportunities to be developed in the next steps of the process and (iii) the development of the service ideas in order to describe possible scenarios to support the implementation phase. Moreover, few considerations on challenges and opportunities to deliver the service are outlined. To describe the framework that influences the design choices, the chapter briefly introduces few concepts on service design approach used in the journey.
Stefano Maffei, Beatrice Villari

Traditional and Innovative Vehicle-Sharing Models

In recent years, car-sharing models have undergone relevant changes, leading to the emergence of different operational models, managerial and technological solutions, and more in general different vehicle-sharing configurations. These models are able to answer in different ways to potential mobility needs, put forth by both individual citizens and firms, leading to the idea that vehicle sharing should be not conceived as a standard service. In this context, this chapter outlines the evolution of different car-sharing models emerged from the literature review and discusses Green Move configurations with specific reference to the condominium car sharing, the network of services, and the new business fleet.
Marika Arena, Giovanni Azzone, Irene Bengo

Analysis of Mobile Phone Data for Deriving City Mobility Patterns

A lot of processes affect lifestyle in an urban area, above all in a huge area that of Milan that represents, in terms of inhabitants, one of the biggest European metropolitan areas. In particular, working, residential, and mobility activities can be indicated as crucial for the well-being of the city. However, these processes are difficult to evaluate directly. Then, undirected instruments for the evaluation of these activities can be taken into account. In this chapter, we analyze a mobile phone network dataset in order to retrieve meaningful features of urban dynamics. These features can be exploited for urban planning procedures as, for instance, the implementation of a car sharing system. We perform a statistical analysis, based on Blind Source Separation techniques on a dataset that measures the intensity of mobile phone activity over the city of Milan varying along two weeks. Blind Source Separation techniques allow to extrapolate significant sources from raw data and to associate each source to a specific urban behavior.
Piercesare Secchi, Simone Vantini, Paolo Zanini

Analysis of Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Potentialities

Car sharing systems have generated increasing interest among drivers and city administrations. The recent European and Italian experiences clearly show that the conditions for the commercial exploitation of this service exist. Aside from traditional car sharing, a possible evolution could be the peer-to-peer car sharing, whose demand and supply have to be estimated. To this aim, a survey was carried out among Milan’s citizens in order to identify the determinants to join a peer-to-peer car sharing. This chapter, after recalling the main studies on this topic, briefly discusses the Milan’s mobility context and its car sharing initiatives. The survey is described, and the results of the econometric analysis, identifying the determinants of car owners’ sharing attitude, are presented. Finally, an estimation of the shared cars’ supply in function of the price set is provided.
Paolo Beria, Antonio Laurino, Ila Maltese, Ilaria Mariotti, Flavio Boscacci

Testing a New Model for a Sustainable Mobility in the City of Milan: The Condominium Car Sharing

This chapter will describe the testing and prototyping of one service-idea concept: condominium-based electric car sharing. It describes the testing phases in a detailed way, explaining the choice of the prototyping specific contexts, the testing modality and the results. The choice to prototype the service idea, directly in interested locations, was made in order to come in contact with potential users and initiate a co-design process. Involving users has two main goals: understand the needs and the desires of users on the one hand, provide information and make car sharing opportunities more known and available to a wider public on the other hand. The interaction with users also allows the users themselves to come up with service improvements and integrations. The prototype was made in two co-housing complexes in Milan with different sizes and cultural background using the same prototyping method: testing lasted six months with a plan of meetings, focus groups and observation. During the testing, the conditions of use were modified and verified with the users. Users feedback, as well as design insights, were then elaborated and were able to generate a series of results and considerations. Subsequently, during the phase of re-elaboration of the results of our experimentation, we tried to imagine transitory solutions towards a future growth of electric car sharing (and related environmental and urban benefits), exploiting the opportunity provided by Milan’s many underground public and private parking lots.
Daniele Fabrizio Bignami, Liat Rogel

Communication Design for Social Engagement. Micro TV and the Integration of Branding and Storytelling into Participatory Processes

The Green Move project promoted an innovative interdisciplinary research approach. Imagis Lab research team actively contributed integrating tools and processes from communication design and participatory video. Within the Experimentation actions for experimenting green mobility services and vehicles, a Micro Web TV was designed and produced in collaboration with the community of Villaggio Scarsellini condominium in order to foster users’ engagement. Scarsellini TV. Vicini più vicini was launched in 2013 and produced five different formats for documenting the community’s everyday life, providing video-tutorials explaining how the service works and how you can get the best from the vehicles and the service, the best practices within the condominium itself to be communicated to the rest of the community in order to improve people’s engagement and making them suggesting further possible uses. The paper describes on one hand the design approach to communication: the first part introduces movie design as communication strategies based on audiovisual storytelling and positions this kind of design approach within the other disciplines involved on the Green Move project. Then, the second part describes the specific contribution to the Experimentation research activities and the outputs produced (communication and TV formats), and analyses data from the surveys to the users during the experimentation and interviews to the community after the micro TV experience: was Scarsellini TV a socialization action? Did it help to foster the integration of the service into the condominium daily life? Did the user/community get new visions about possible alternative scenarios of sustainable mobility? And finally: did the implemented communication instruments contribute to foster the social innovation and to raise the consciousness of people involved?
Maria Luisa Galbiati, Francesca Piredda

The Technology


Architecture of the Green Move System

In this chapter, we describe the architecture of the prototype of the Green Move system. The system includes three main components: the Green Move Center, which is the server side of the application; the mobile application that is installed on the smartphone of each user of the system; and the Green e-Box, which is a device installed on each Green Move vehicle that allows the system (including the user) to interact with the vehicle. In this chapter, we describe the key functions of each component and the main interactions that occur with one another. In particular, we focus on three aspects of the architecture: (i) the mechanisms through which the Green e-Box provides a uniform interface to interact with possibly very heterogeneous vehicles; (ii) the keyless approach through which users access vehicles; and (iii) the flexible real-time monitoring of the fleet achieved through Complex Event Processing technology.
Andrea G. Bianchessi, Gianpaolo Cugola, Simone Formentin, Angelo Morzenti, Carlo Ongini, Emanuele Panigati, Matteo Rossi, Fabio A. Schreiber, Sergio Matteo Savaresi, Letizia Tanca, Edoardo G. Vannutelli Depoli

Green Move Dynamic Applications

In this chapter, we describe the middleware that has been defined and implemented in the prototype of the Green Move system to dynamically manage value-added applications that run on the Green e-Boxes of vehicles and that are used to tailor the user experience of Green Move customers. A Green Move dynamic Application (GMA) is a bundle of code that can be installed or removed at run-time (i.e., after the system has been deployed, even while the vehicle is in use), depending on the current situation and on the user preferences. GMAs can be developed by the administrators of the Green Move system, but also by third parties. In this chapter, we describe the primitives offered by the GMA framework to facilitate the development of GMAs. We also show how the system allows GMAs to be installed automatically, when certain conditions are met, thanks to the complex event processing capabilities of the Green Move system prototype.
Gianpaolo Cugola, Angelo Morzenti, Matteo Rossi, Edoardo G. Vannutelli Depoli

Context-Driven Pervasive and Personalized Information Management

The creation of intelligent pervasive spaces is one of the most interesting opportunities offered by pervasive systems: social and physical ambients can be created with the aid of ICT technologies, providing enhanced capabilities for humans to interact with the surrounding environment. In general, these features are useful for providing security services, energy management, water and pollution control or to create assisted-living ambients for impaired or elderly people, but constitute also proactive and intelligent supports to novel applications in traffic management.
Emanuele Panigati, Fabio A. Schreiber, Letizia Tanca

A Smartphone-Based Energy-Oriented Driving Assistance System

Recent studies showed that one of the major environmental problems is the transport-related air pollution and road transport alone is expected to be the largest contributor to anthropogenic climate forcing in 2020. The development of more efficient vehicles, the use of alternative energy sources, and the deployment of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are all solutions toward the decarbonization of the sector. In this chapter, an energy-oriented driving assistance system focusing on the assessment of the current driving style is proposed. In fact, it has been observed that a change of the driving style may provide savings from 5 to 40% of the total energy expenses, as well as reductions of the air pollution. The proposed system is fully integrated in a smartphone application, which acquires the signals related to the vehicle dynamics (e.g., velocity and acceleration) and computes three power-related indices containing significant information about the current driving style. Based on such indices, a feedback communication can be given to the driver (if needed) to induce a change in the driving style, which in turns would result into an energy saving. Differently from the existing studies, the proposed application is vehicle-independent and does not require any connection to the vehicle CAN-bus or OBD-interface. The effectiveness of the proposed approach is assessed via an experimental campaign carried out on urban and extra-urban routes by different drivers. Experimental results show that the proposed driving assistance system may reduce the vehicle consumption up to 30%.
Simone Formentin, Carlo Ongini, Sergio Matteo Savaresi

Automatic Fleet Balancing in One-Way VSSs via Closed-Loop Dynamic Pricing

Vehicle sharing systems (VSSs) are typically divided into two categories, defining distinct trip models. In round-trip VSSs, users must drop off the reserved vehicles at the pick-up station; in one-way VSSs, pick-up and drop-off stations may be different. In round-trip VSSs, the fleet is balanced over the stations by definition, whereas in one-way VSSs, the distribution of the vehicles tends to be unbalanced. Due to this fact, there are situations where no vehicle is available and some reservations must be rejected by the system. Moreover, the VSS organization usually incurs the additional cost of the fleet-balancing operations. Then, even though one-way VSSs are more attractive for the users, they are often not preferred by the service providers. Nevertheless, the scientific literature, which addresses the problem, is quite poor. In this chapter, the problem is addressed from a novel perspective, i.e. it is reformulated as an automatic control problem. The key point is to show that, based on the only (mild) assumption that human decisions are sensitive to changes in the price of the service, a VSS can be accurately modelled as a stochastic dynamical system. The obtained dynamical model is then used to devise a complete feedback control architecture. At the end of the chapter, a thorough simulation campaign shows that the performance of the closed-loop configuration may largely overcome that of the existing VSSs. Such results make this direction of research a promising challenge for both control engineers and people working on intelligent transportation systems (ITSs).
Simone Formentin, Andrea G. Bianchessi, Sergio Matteo Savaresi

Information System: Georeferenced Database

The goal of the implemented system is to provide useful tools to monitor in real time the positions of the vehicles that share the Green Move system. Data can be accessed in two different ways: by the Green Move WebGIS, for browsers; by the geoweb service that delivers the data accordingly to the Web Map Service and Web Feature Service standards that are defined by Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), for OGC Web Services clients. Static information, like vehicles identifiers or registrations numbers, is published. Moreover, real-time data are published and updated every 5 s: vehicles positions or other data from onboard Global Navigation Satellite System as well as useful data from others sensors, like speed and battery charge level and static information, like vehicle identifier, registration number. Furthermore, delivered vehicles positions are processed to correctly georeference them in correspondence of roads. Free and open-source software has been used to implement the service: MapServer, OpenLayers, and PostGIS/PostgreSQL provide the GeoDB, and OpenStreetMap service is used for road maps.
Maria Brovelli, Marco Negretti, Ludovico Biagi

The Simulation Model


The Evaluation Model: Estimation of Economic, Social and Environmental Impacts of Car Sharing Services

This chapter describes a model able to simulate car sharing configuration options, taking into account different dimension of sustainability (environment, economy, mobility and social). We studied the possible effects of such options on the mobility system. In order to identify and structure such effects, we used cognitive maps, elicited by means of interviews and workshops made with the researchers with different expertise of the Green Move team and territorial stakeholders. Such maps led to the development of a simulation model for the estimation of the options’ effects. Different sub-models are briefly described in terms of inputs, outputs and operating logic. The model has been used in the design of a full-scale electric car sharing service for the city of Milano.
Alessandro Luè, Roberto Nocerino, Valerio Paruscio, Diego Ciccarelli, Simone Vantini, Paolo Zanini

Model of the O/D Matrix: Grid Driven Estimate of the O/D Matrices for a Car Sharing Service

To plan a car sharing service and, in particular, to design the positions of the stations, it is fundamental to know the number of potential users corresponding to different scenarios. In this work, to answer the question: “how many potential users will take the car in Station A and will leave it in Station B?” a model has been designed and implemented to estimate the potential users of the car sharing system and consequently the Origin/Destination matrices of the service. A large amount of data was available, including cartographic data, census information, demand matrices and traffic flows. To be able to combine the necessary information, available in different formats and structures, a common grid has been considered as a reference for the computation and some hypotheses have been assumed, e.g. the census data have been considered homogeneously distributed within a grid cell. The available information has been referred to the cell to estimate the Origin/Destination matrices for the car sharing service with respect to different scenarios. The spatial data have been managed and displayed in a GIS environment, and an ad hoc algorithm has been developed to integrate the input data.
Daniela Carrion, Guido Minini, Livio Pinto

System Sizing Model—Simulation Model of the Service

The model estimates the number of vehicles of a fleet that are necessary to meet the expected requests, as well as the estimated number of bays needed to ensure the temporary parking of the vehicles in use or charging at any time. The model allows to reproduce the service trend during a typical day, simulating the pickup requests at each station and the trip of each vehicle from the pickup to the return station; the model monitors the number of vehicles at every station, therefore allowing an estimate of the minimum number of bays per station and of the number of vehicles in order to satisfy the expected requests.
Giovanna Marchionni, Marco Ponti, Luca Studer

Conclusions and Future Trends: From Ownership to Sharing

In this chapter, we summarise the main “lessons learned” that originated from the study and the onsite experimentation within the Green Move project. These are presented under the form of brief “guidelines” that may represent launching pads for a complete engineering of an advanced system of vehicle sharing. In the (relatively short, a little more than two years) duration of the project, the technologies and experiences of vehicle sharing underwent a noteworthy evolution which in any case appears to be in line with many of the points analysed. The remarks presented in this chapter represent a contribution for identifying the conditions, related to both the service model and the technology, for shifting from car ownership to vehicle sharing: providing this option to citizens is an essential aim that each city has to pursue as a first step for becoming a smart city.
Daniele Fabrizio Bignami, Alberto Colorni, Alessandro Luè, Roberto Nocerino, Matteo Rossi, Sergio Matteo Savaresi
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