Autonomy-enabled Shared Vehicles for Mobility on Demand and Urban Logistics (Boston)

Autonomy-enabled Shared Vehicles for Mobility on Demand and Urban Logistics (Boston)

This project aims to address urban transportation and logistics issues by developing a shared vehicle platform called the Persuasive Electric Vehicle (PEV) Platform. The Boston, MA-based team will prototype an autonomous tricycle designed to navigate on bike lanes and reduce transportation delays, noise, emissions, and delivery times for packages and goods ordered online. The PEV platform concept will improve urban transportation through autonomy-enabled vehicle sharing and improve urban logistics by autonomously delivering packages. The PEV platform prototype will use routing algorithms to autonomously navigate the bike lanes. The potential impact of PEV fleets will be demonstrated in simulation studies involving (1) a realistic urban environment; (2) autonomous and manual navigation of the PEV platform; and (3) quantification of the potential impact of PEV fleets.

Project milestone

Idea Complete

Idea Complete
Prototype Complete
In Development

Impact statement

Today, many urban dwellers do not own a car, and they utilize car-sharing programs for access to mobility, for instance, for a sight seeing trip on the weekend. Similarly, bike-sharing programs now help people get around the city, particularly for shorter trips. Mobility-on-demand technologies such as these will be essential to support people living in dense city neighbors. Another essential technology that will help serve the future urban dwellers is urban logistics systems for the transportation of goods, for example to deliver goods ordered online to their end users. The new concept is a fleet autonomous tricycle that navigate on the bike lanes. The tricycles are envisioned to autonomously navigate to their next customers, and provide wheels whenever they are needed. When the tricycles are idle, they carry packages to their customers. When deployed, the new concept will not only reduce transportation delays, noise, and emissions, but it will also substantially reduce delivery time, for instance to a few hours down from a few days.


We are grateful for the support of NSF Cyber-Physical Systems Program.