A Deep Learning Approach for TNC Trip Demand Prediction Considering Spatial-Temporal Features: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Ride-hailing or transportation network companies (TNCs), such as Uber, Lyft, DiDi Chuxing, or RideAustin, are emerging as a new and disruptive on-demand mobility service in recent years. However, the methods for developing predictive analytics to explore the nature and dynamics of TNCs across cities in the United States are still nascent due to the lack of publicly available data. Recently available public datasets on TNCs by RideAustin offer a unique opportunity to examine spatial, temporal, environmental, and special event factors associated with TNC trip demand. This study explores the use of a deep learning approach - Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) - to predict TNC trip demand at the ZIP Code level using data from Austin, Texas. The analysis includes key predictive factors such as time of day, day of week, precipitation, and temperature, indicating their corresponding associations with TNC trip demand. Results from initial analysis show that LSTM is able to predict the TNC trip demand for the upcoming hour accurately. LSTM, when compared to other prediction methods, such as historical average and instantaneous trip demand, reduces the mean absolute error (MAE) of the model predictions by 37% and 24%, respectively. This novel method offers significant potential for scaling up and/or replicability across cities where data are available for understanding TNC trip demand to inform emerging mobility system operators. Predicting trip demand can help TNC drivers make informed decisions on how to be more efficient by maximizing passenger pickups and minimizing wait times and deadheading.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2019
EventTransportation Research Board (TRB) 98th Annual Meeting - Washington, D.C.
Duration: 13 Jan 201917 Jan 2019


ConferenceTransportation Research Board (TRB) 98th Annual Meeting
CityWashington, D.C.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-72704


  • ride-hailing
  • transportation network companies
  • trip demand


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