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Sustainable Urban Delivery: The Learning Process of Path Costs Enhanced by Information and Communication Technologies

  • antonio comi, francesco russo;
Publication Date
Nov 26, 2021
DOI: 10.3390/su132313103
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Today, local administrations are faced with the presence of greater constraints in terms of the use of space and time. At the same time, large amount of data is available to fleet managers that can be used for controlling their fleets. This work is set in the context defined by sustainable city logistics, and information and communication technologies (ICTs), to formalize the three themes of the smart city (transport, ICTs and energy savings) in a single problem. Following this, the main purpose of the study is to propose a unified formulation of the basic problem of fleets, i.e., the traveling salesman problem (TSP), which explicitly includes the use of emerging information and communication technologies (e-ICTs) pointing out the learning process of path costs in urban delivery. This research explores the opportunity to extend the path cost formation with a within-day and day-to-day learning process, including the specification of the attributes provided by e-ICTs. As shown through a real test case, the research answers to queries coming from operators and collectivities to improve city liveability and sustainability. It includes both economic sustainability for companies/enterprises and environmental sustainability for local administrations (and collectivities). Besides contributing to reduce the times and kms travelled by commercial vehicles, as well as the interference of freight vehicles with other traffic components, it also contributes to road accident reduction (social sustainability). Therefore, after the re-exanimation of TSP, this paper presents the proposed unitary formulation and its benefits through the discussion of results obtained in a real case study. Finally, the possible innovation guided by e-ICT is pointed out.

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