Co-Authors: Carlo Ratti and Paolo Santi of MIT SENSEable City Lab
Advances in information technologies have increased our participation in “sharing economies”, where technology that allows networked, real-time data exchange facilitates the sharing of living spaces, equipment, or vehicles with others. To quantitatively assess the environmental impact of trip sharing, we recently developed a network-based method which efficiently solves spatio-temporal sharing problems. Using this method and a massive data set of taxi trips in New York City, we found that the cumulative trip length of all taxis in the system can be cut by 40% if passengers are willing to share a cab. Here, we discuss first practical implementations of trip sharing and its possible impacts, blurring the line between individual and mass transportation.
*This paper was written for the Marron Institute Conference on Self-Driving Vehicles, which took place on May 28 & 29, 2015 and was convened with support from Google.
Photo courtesy of Washington State Department of Transportation.