Posted 11 Dec 2015
In the coming months we’ll be rolling out the first release of ODL Live - our state-of-the-art solution for real-time vehicle routing and scheduling.
Technically, ODL Live is designed to solve dynamic vehicle routing and pickup-delivery problems. These are problems where your transportation or service requests (e.g. people to move, goods to collect, machinery to repair), are booked in real-time and are partially or even completely unknown before your drivers or technicians start their working day - for example:
Amazon’s one-hour Prime Now aims to deliver selected goods within one hour of order placement. Supermarket chains seeking to compete with Prime Now but without the in-house analytics and team of transport planners need to power on-demand deliveries could plug their systems into ODL Live.
Moving patients, elderly or less-abled people where bookings are taken on the same day, at short notice. Similarly traditional taxi companies with large fleets could get that crucial edge over Uber by adopting automated vehicle routing.
Planning engineers to repair breakdowns of machinery (heating systems, electrical installations), investigate gas leaks, or fix down power lines - emergency bookings which need serving ASAP. Similarly scheduling mobile nurses where patient visits are booked on the same day.
Freight delivery logistics companies normally deliver items (e.g. palletised goods, parcels) from their depots in the morning and collect items in the afternoon, to be delivered back to their depots. Traditional route planning techniques assume all orders are booked before trucks leave the depot in the morning, giving the transport planner - or ODL Studio - time to build the routes. With ODL Live you could take same day bookings for collections and your routes will be automatically replanned.
ODL Live provides an automated dispatching solution. The first version will be available as a subscription based web service, built to modern RESTful standards and running securely in the cloud. Using simple HTTP requests your existing order processing and tracking systems tell ODL Live about (a) available drivers, (b) new orders as they come in and (c) when your drivers or engineers have completed existing orders. ODL Live then dynamically replans your vehicle routes as new information becomes available and tells your system which people to dispatch to which locations and when to dispatch them.
Work is also ongoing on the predictive engine for version 2.0 of ODL Live, following our development roadmap. Using big data techniques to crunch your order history, version 2 will support (a) opportunistic repositionings - placing drivers in the best locations for likely upcoming orders and (b) alerts when the forecasting model indicates your available transport or staff resources may not be sufficient to serve your upcoming orders.
Our goal with ODL Live is to provide a cost-effective solution for real-time vehicle routing problems - we keep costs low by using OpenStreetMap data and open source software wherever possible.
We’ve just opened up the waiting list for companies interested in trialling the first version of the ODL Live. Please drop us an email if you’d like to be added to the list, giving us as much detail as possible on your routing and scheduling problem. First-come-first-served rules apply : )