Scarinci, R., Lopez, G., Chen, J., and Bierlaire, M. (2014)

Optimization of the network design of a futuristic transport system based on moving walkways

Swiss Transportation Research Conference, Ascona, Switzerland

Starting from the assumption of a future where the use of cars will be limited in dense urban areas, and thus streets could be used for innovative transport modes, this project investigates a system based on accelerated moving walkways (AMW). Differently from constant moving walkways, AMW can reach speeds up to 15km/h thanks to an acceleration section. This paper, after a review of existing AMW implementations, presents a description of this system and formulates an optimization problem to identify the optimal design of a network of AMW. Decision variables and parameters are defined for a general scenario, and five criteria are considered for the formulation of the objective function: travel time, discomfort, energy consumption, construction cost and operational cost. The resulting multi-objective mixed integer nonlinear optimization problem is evaluated for the simple case of a single link, and results of optimal speed profiles for different parameter values are presented. A network of accelerated moving walkway in a car-free urban environment may present an innovative solution, and further research at a network level could delineate the system feasibility.