Posted 03 Jul 2017
We’ve published a free white paper describing the development of ODL Live - our commercial real-time logistics management system for on-demand services - last mile deliveries, taxis and mobile workforce scheduling. In this paper we highlight the research and technical challenges that arise developing an industrial-grade system for real-time route optimisation.
Real-time route scheduling problems, usually called ‘dynamic vehicle routing problems’ in the research literature, appear in a number of industries, for example:
On-demand deliveries - takeaway food, drinks, laundry collection etc.
Taxi services, both for general public and specialised services for the elderly, disabled or hospital patients.
Field force optimisation, repair technicians, surveyors, engineers or any other workers who drive significant distances and either (a) accept new jobs on the same day or (b) need route-efficient efficient appointment booking.
Time slot generation for home delivery networks, i.e. offering time-slots to customers browsing an e-commerce site, based on planned routes. Appointment scheduling is also a real-time planning problem as the booking of one time slot affects the availablity of others.