Future mobility as a bio-inspired collaborative system
preprintposted on 19.06.2021, 13:13 by Naroa Coretti Sanchez, Juan Múgica Gonzalez, Luis Alonso Pastor, Kent Larson
The current trends towards vehicle-sharing, electrification, and autonomy are predicted to transform mobility. Combined appropriately, they have the potential of significantly improving urban mobility. However, what will come after most vehicles are shared, electric, and autonomous remains an open question, especially regarding the interactions between vehicles and how these interactions will impact system-level behaviour. Inspired by nature and supported by swarm robotics and vehicle platooning models, this paper proposes a future mobility in which shared, electric, and autonomous vehicles behave as a bio-inspired collaborative system. The collaboration between vehicles will lead to a system-level behaviour analogous to natural swarms. Natural swarms can divide tasks, cluster, build together, or transport cooperatively. In this future mobility, vehicles will cluster by connecting either physically or virtually, which will enable the possibility of sharing energy, data or computational power, provide services or transfer cargo, among others. Vehicles will collaborate either with vehicles that are part of the same fleet, or with any other vehicle on the road, by finding mutualistic relationships that benefit both parties. The field of swarm robotics has already translated some of the behaviours from natural swarms to artificial systems and, if we further translate these concepts into urban mobility, exciting ideas emerge. Within mobility-related research, the coordinated movement proposed in vehicle platooning models can be seen as a first step towards collaborative mobility. This paper contributes with the proposal of a framework for future mobility that integrates current research and mobility trends in a novel and unique way.