Automated Electric Vehicle Fleet Operations for On-Demand Service: Challenges and Opportunities

J. Lott, Stanley Young

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations


Automated/autonomous vehicle fleet operations within automated mobility districts have been studied over the past five years by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a US Department of Energy federally funded research and development center. This paper extends the analysis in this third phase of research underway to include considerations for electric vehicle operations and charging within a fleet of right-sized automated vehicles providing on-demand public mobility services. The current focus of research is on the operational complexities and associated challenges for automated/autonomous vehicles employing electric drivetrains and the resultant need for an efficient battery charging process while vehicles are operating in an "on-demand" mode of service. The blossoming of microtransit with shared-ride and point-to-point dispatching of each vehicle instills complex operations, with multiple mobility-on-demand transit operating sites being deployed, studied, and analyzed across North America. As a starting point, the authors' experience over the past 20 years with the analysis of automated transit network systems operating on and within dedicated and protected transitways provides initial insights into the system-level operational implications for maintaining a sufficient battery charge for a fleet of automated vehicles. Lessons learned through the prior analyses of automated transit network systems operating in on-demand service are identified, along with the capital cost implications for the requisite operating fleet size and charging station infrastructure for various approaches. These costs are summarized in juxtaposition with the benefits of realizing the higher goals of reducing environmental impacts and energy use within automated mobility districts as automated/autonomous vehicle technology matures. Finally, the discussion addresses key aspects of battery-electric propulsion for managed fleets in fully automated operation that will be studied as the third phase of research continues.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2023
EventInternational Conference on Transportation and Development 2023, ICTD 2023 - Austin, United States
Duration: 14 Jun 202317 Jun 2023


ConferenceInternational Conference on Transportation and Development 2023, ICTD 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© ASCE 2023.All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5400-84755


  • ATN
  • automated transit network
  • automated vehicle
  • autonomous vehicle
  • battery-electric vehicle
  • charging station
  • fleet electrification
  • on-demand transit
  • small-vehicle transit


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