Service network design for emerging modes in air transport: autonomous airport inter-terminal bus shuttle and air metro

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Copyright: Zhao, Runqing
Abstract
Emerging modes of air transport such as autonomous airport shuttle and air taxi are potentially efficient alternatives to current transport practices such as bus and train. This thesis examines bus shuttle service within an airport and air metro as two examples of network design. Within an airport, the bus shuttle serves passengers between the terminals, train stations, parking lots, hotels, and shopping areas. Air metro is a type of pre-planned service in urban air mobility that accommodates passengers for intra- or inter-city trips. The problems are to optimise the service, and the outputs including the optimal fleet size, dispatch pattern and schedule. Based on the proposed time-space networks, the service network design problems are formulated as mixed integer linear programs. The heterogeneous multi-type bus fleet case and stochastic demand case are extended for the airport shuttle case, while a rolling horizon optimisation is adopted for the air metro case. In the autonomous airport inter-terminal bus shuttle case, a Monte Carlo simulation-based approach is proposed to solve the case with demand stochasticity, which is then further embedded into an "effective" passenger demand framework. The "effective" demand is the summation of mean demand value and a safety margin. By comparing the proposed airport shuttle service to the current one, it is found that the proposed service can save approximately 27% of the total system cost. The results for stochastic problem suggest estimating the safety margin to be 0.3675 times of the standard deviation brings the best performance. For the second case, the service network design is extended with a pilot scheduling layer and simulation is undertaken to compare the autonomous (pilot-less) and piloted service design. The results suggest that an autonomous air metro service would be preferable if the price of an autonomous aircraft is less than 1.6 times the price of a human-driven one. The results for rolling horizon optimisation suggest to confirm the actual demand at least 45 minutes prior to departure. Based on data from the Sydney (Australia) region, the thesis provides information directly relevant for the service network design of emerging modes of air transport in the city.
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Publication Year
2022
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Thesis
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Masters Thesis
UNSW Faculty