Scotland-based route optimization company Route Monkey is teaming up with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh to develop new algorithms to optimize the use of vans, trucks and passenger cars. The partnership with Heriot-Watt University will initially focus on delivering the £1.5-million (US$2.3-million) National Scheduling Platform project—an on-demand route optimization and scheduling solution that can be easily accessed via a web portal.
This integrated mobility platform is intended to enable the efficient transportation of people and goods in ways that deliver the maximum economic, environmental and societal benefits. Funded in conjunction with Scottish Enterprise and Transport Scotland, the platform is due to go live next year.
To support the project, Route Monkey has employed two postdoctoral researchers through a Knowledge Transfer Program (KTP), who specialize in optimization and mobility algorithms. Professor David Corne, head of Heriot-Watt University’s Intelligent Systems Lab, also joins Route Monkey on a part-time basis.
We are forging a partnership between two leaders in algorithms. Together we can create an IP factory that will develop world class software solutions to help meet the changing needs of road transport and commuter travel. The solutions we create here in Scotland will be marketable to cities, fleets and consumers worldwide.—Colin Ferguson, CEO of Route Monkey Ltd
Founded in 2009, Route Monkey initially focused on developing novel multi-criterion algorithms that provide route optimization and scheduling software solutions for fleet and transport managers. Unique in the scheduling market at the time, the Route Monkey platform focused on energy use for vehicles.
Building on this success, Route Monkey expanded its algorithm portfolio to support low carbon vehicles and is now the UK’s leading provider of optimization solutions for both ULEVs and the energy management of their charging stations. The system overlays multiple parameters that are used within the software such as:
- Battery status
- Weight to discharge ratio
- Driver profile
- Charging points
- Maximized ROI
Route Monkey’s optimization solutions eliminate unnecessary mileage and improve vehicle utilisation, typically helping to reduce costs by up to 20% and substantially cut carbon emissions. The algorithms are capable of making millions of calculations in a relatively short space of time, vastly improving on manual transport planning. They provide a competitive edge to businesses and also help cities deal with growing urban challenges such as congestion.
Haycock, R.; Ferguson, C. (2013) “Creating demand in fleets for EVs, infrastructure and demand driven energy supply through enabling software that can significantly improve the TCO model of the complete system,” EVS27 doi: 10.1109/EVS.2013.6914926