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Visualizing New York City Taxi Travel Patterns & Exploring Potential of Autonomous Taxis

October 23, 2017 @ 12:10 pm - 1:00 pm

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GIS Seminar Presentation

Xingwei Weng, GIS certificate candidate, civil, construction and environmental engineering

Adviser: Jing Dong, assistant professor, civil, construction and environmental engineering


This project studies the potential of autonomous taxis in New York City by conducting a spatial analysis of temporal travel patterns of the yellow taxi during a one-week period from Oct. 13 to Oct. 19, 2013. A map of total number of pick-ups and drop-offs is created to visualize the most frequented locations. Wednesday (Oct. 16) and Saturday (Oct. 19) are selected to represent weekday and weekend. Maps of total numbers of pick-ups and drop-offs are displayed hourly for these two days.

The empty-trip travel route for Wednesday (Oct. 16) is reconstructed to estimate the total empty-trip distance and total empty-trip time using the network analyst tool. To explore the relationship between real travel distance and straight-line distance, one random taxi is selected and its route for that day is displayed. The new route has the same first trip, but the next pick-up location is assigned to him based on the closest pick-up location of that 10-minute period of that day. Keeping assigning it route until it meets its original travel time.

By displaying the assigned route and the original route and comparing total empty-trip distance and the total empty-trip time of these two trips, the autonomous taxis are able to greatly improve efficiency. However, this is feasible for only a small number of taxis in NYC and not feasible for all 10,032 yellow taxis in NYC.

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October 23, 2017
12:10 pm - 1:00 pm
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526 Design
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