A simulation study of platooning AV fleet service in shared urban environments with uncertainties

Ran Dong, Roger Woodman, Paul A. Jennings, Simon Brewerton, Stewart A. Birrell, Matthew D. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


This paper conducts a simulation study of low-speed Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), referred to as “pods”, platooning in shared urban environments. The proposed on-demand transport service can help solve the “last mile” challenge and improve mobility for non-drivers, elderly, and disabled people. To help the industry understands the dynamic system for deployment, this paper provides a practical prospect for pod platooning without prior planning. We designed a simulation system for the new transport. Non-homogenous Poisson processes were adopted to simulate arrivals of user requests. A three-density-zone map was designed from real-world city layouts. Practical time and location patterns of user demand were used. The supervision cost reduction as a benefit of platooning was estimated. System performance and user experience were evaluated. We identified how deployment can influence platooning. We found that platooning can reduce supervision cost by approximately 20% and 14%, during peak times on weekdays and midday on weekends respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100062
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Engineering
Early online date2 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)


This work has been carried out as part of the Self-organising Wide area Autonomous vehicle Real-time Marshalling (SWARM) project. The project was funded by Innovate UK , the UK’s innovation agency, under the grant ref. 103287 , and is a collaboration between RDM Ltd., University of Warwick, and Milton Keynes Council.


  • Electric Autonomous Vehicle
  • Monte Carlo Simulation
  • Platooning
  • Uncertainty
  • Urban transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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