New York: MIT scientists have developed an algorithm for taxi sharing that can potentially ease traffic congestion, reduce service costs and cut pollution.
The app was tested in New York City using the data from 13,000 city cabs over one year. It calculates options within a minute of a ride request without having to re-route already started trips.
Scientists say the algorithm will ease traffic congestion, reduce service costs, cut pollution and allow riders to split fares, 'Business Insider' reported.
A mathematical model developed by Carlo Ratti of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and colleagues produces a shareability network to identify the collective benefits of taxi sharing.
They applied their method to a data set of 150 million taxi trips and identified opportunities for trip sharing with minimal passenger discomfort and without re-routing already started trips.
If passengers had been willing to tolerate no more than five minutes in delays per trip, almost 95 per cent of the trips could have been shared, researchers found.
The optimal combination of trips would have reduced total travel time by 40 per cent, with corresponding reductions in operational costs and carbon dioxide emissions, they found.
Researchers estimate that systems employing the method would allow taxi companies to calculate sharing options within one minute of a ride request.