Ride-sharing networks with mixed autonomy

Q. Wei, J. Rodriguez, R. Pedarsani, S. Coogan
American Control Conference, 2019


We consider ride-sharing networks served byhuman-driven vehicles and autonomous vehicles. First, wepropose a novel model for ride-sharing in this mixed autonomysetting for a multi-location network in which the platformsets prices for riders, compensation for drivers, and operatesautonomous vehicles for a fixed price. Then we study thepossible benefits, in the form of increased profits, to the ride-sharing platform that are possible by introducing autonomousvehicles. We first establish a nonconvex optimization problemcharacterizing the optimal profits for a network operatingat a steady-state equilibrium and then propose a convexproblem with the same optimal profits that allows for efficientcomputation. Next, we study the relative mix of autonomous andhuman-driven vehicles that results at equilibrium for variouscosts of operation for autonomous vehicles. In particular, weshow that there is a regime for which the platform will chooseto mix autonomous and human-driven vehicles in order tooptimize profits. Our results provide insights into how suchride-sharing platforms might choose to integrate autonomousvehicles into their fleet.