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On the Interaction between Autonomous Mobility on Demand Systems and Power Distribution Networks -- An Optimal Power Flow Approach

05/01/2019
by   Alvaro Estandia, et al.
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In future transportation systems, the charging behavior of electric Autonomous Mobility on Demand (AMoD) fleets, i.e., fleets of self-driving cars that service on-demand trip requests, will likely challenge power distribution networks (PDNs), causing overloads or voltage drops. In this paper, we show that these challenges can be significantly attenuated if the PDNs' operational constraints and exogenous loads (e.g., from homes or businesses) are considered when operating the electric AMoD fleet. We focus on a system-level perspective, assuming full cooperation between the AMoD and the PDN operators. Through this single entity perspective, we derive an upper bound on the benefits of coordination. We present an optimization-based modeling approach to jointly control an electric AMoD fleet and a series of PDNs, and analyze the benefit of coordination under load balancing constraints. For a case study in Orange County, CA, we show that coordinating the electric AMoD fleet and the PDNs helps to reduce 99 AMoD fleet causes without coordination. Our results show that coordinating electric AMoD and PDNs helps to level loads and can significantly postpone the point at which upgrading the network's capacity to a larger scale becomes inevitable to preserve stability.

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