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Journal of Advanced Transportation
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8512728, 23 pages
Research Article

Dealing with the Empty Vehicle Movements in Personal Rapid Transit System with Batteries Constraints in a Dynamic Context

1Institut Superieur de Gestion, University of Tunis, 41 rue de la Liberté, 2000 Le Bardo, Tunisia
2Université de Kairouan, Institut Supérieur d’Informatique et de Gestion de Kairouan, Avenue Khemais El Alouini, 3100 Kairouan, Tunisia
3Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Carthage, Tunisia

Correspondence should be addressed to Olfa Chebbi

Received 5 September 2016; Revised 5 January 2017; Accepted 8 February 2017; Published 13 April 2017

Academic Editor: Zhi-Chun Li

Copyright © 2017 Ezzeddine Fatnassi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Personal Rapid Transit is a new emergent transportation tool. It relies on using a set of small driverless electric vehicles to transport people on demand. Because of the specific on-demand characteristic of the Personal Rapid Transit system, many Personal Rapid Transit vehicles would move empty which results in a high level of wasted transportation capacity. This is enhanced while using Personal Rapid Transit vehicles with limited electric battery capacity. This paper deals with this problem in a real time context while minimizing the set of empty vehicle movements. First, a mathematical formulation to benchmark waiting time of passengers in Personal Rapid Transit systems is proposed. Then, a simulation model that captures the main features of the Personal Rapid Transit system is developed. A decision support system which integrates several real time solution strategies as well as a simulation module is proposed. Our dispatching strategies are evaluated and compared based on our simulation model. The efficiency of our method is tested through extensive test studies.