The benefit of complete trip information in free-floating carsharing systems

Free-floating and instant-access carsharing systems are two features of the most flexible carsharing systems. In the former, users are allowed to freely park the car in any legal parking spot within the boundaries defined by the service operator. In the latter, users are not requested to make any reservation in advance before picking up the car. This paper aims at evaluating the importance of complete trip information in free-floating instant-access carsharing systems. To this aim, we consider a system, referred to as the look-ahead system, where users can reserve a car in advance and are also allowed to directly pick up a car without any reservation. In both cases, the user is requested to specify complete trip details, including the estimated usage duration and the location where the car will be returned. Taking advantage of a complete knowledge of the trip details, the service operator can assign a reservation request to a car that is in use at the time of reservation, provided it will become available at the time and location the user will need it. In its nature, the operational setting we consider is dynamic, as trip information is revealed to the service operator at the time the user requests a car. We also investigate the possibility of suggesting to the user that makes a reservation a pickup location different from the desired one, provided it is not too distant from the latter.
ARCHETTI, C., BRUGLIERI, M., GUASTAROBA, G. et SPERANZA, M.G. (2023). The benefit of complete trip information in free-floating carsharing systems. EURO Journal on Transportation and Logistics, 12, pp. 100110.