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  1. Autonomous Mobility-on-Demand (AMoD) systems represent an attractive alternative to existing transportation paradigms, currently challenged by urbanization and increasing travel needs. By centrally controlling a fleet of self-driving vehicles, these systems provide mobility service to customers and are currently starting to be deployed in a number of cities around the world. Current learning-based approaches for controlling AMoD systems are limited to the single-city scenario, whereby the service operator is allowed to take an unlimited amount of operational decisions within the same transportation system. However, real-world system operators can hardly afford to fully re-train AMoD controllers for every city they operate in, as this could result in a high number of poor-quality decisions during training, making the single-city strategy a potentially impractical solution. To address these limitations, we propose to formalize the multi-city AMoD problem through the lens of meta-reinforcement learning (meta-RL) and devise an actor-critic algorithm based on recurrent graph neural networks. In our approach, AMoD controllers are explicitly trained such that a small amount of experience within a new city will produce good system performance. Empirically, we show how control policies learned through meta-RL are able to achieve near-optimal performance on unseen cities by learning rapidly adaptable policies, thus making them more robust not only to novel environments, but also to distribution shifts common in real-world operations, such as special events, unexpected congestion, and dynamic pricing schemes. 
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  2. Charging infrastructure is the coupling link between power and transportation networks, thus determining charging station siting is necessary for planning of power and transportation systems. While previous works have either optimized for charging station siting given historic travel behavior, or optimized fleet routing and charging given an assumed placement of the stations, this paper introduces a linear program that optimizes for station siting and macroscopic fleet operations in a joint fashion. Given an electricity retail rate and a set of travel demand requests, the optimization minimizes total cost for an autonomous EV fleet comprising of travel costs, station procurement costs, fleet procurement costs, and electricity costs, including demand charges. Specifically, the optimization returns the number of charging plugs for each charging rate (e.g., Level 2, DC fast charging) at each candidate location, as well as the optimal routing and charging of the fleet. From a case-study of an electric vehicle fleet operating in San Francisco, our results show that, albeit with range limitations, small EVs with low procurement costs and high energy efficiencies are the most cost-effective in terms of total ownership costs. Furthermore, the optimal siting of charging stations is more spatially distributed than the current siting of stations, consisting mainly of high-power Level 2 AC stations (16.8 kW) with a small share of DC fast charging stations and no standard 7.7kW Level 2 stations. Optimal siting reduces the total costs, empty vehicle travel, and peak charging load by up to 10%. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    This paper presents an algorithmic framework to optimize the operation of an Autonomous Mobility-on-Demand system whereby a centrally controlled fleet of electric self-driving vehicles provides on-demand mobility. In particular, we first present a mixed-integer linear program that captures the joint vehicle coordination and charge scheduling problem, accounting for the battery level of the single vehicles and the energy availability in the power grid. Second, we devise a heuristic algorithm to compute near-optimal solutions in polynomial time. Finally, we apply our algorithm to realistic case studies for Newport Beach, CA. Our results validate the near optimality of our method with respect to the global optimum, whilst suggesting that through vehicle-to-grid operation we can enable a 100% penetration of renewable energy sources and still provide a high-quality mobility service. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    This paper presents models and optimization methods for the design of electric vehicle propulsion systems. Specifically, we first derive a bi-convex model of a battery electric powertrain including the transmission and explicitly accounting for the impact of its components' size on the energy consumption of the vehicle. Second, we formulate the energy-optimal sizing and control problem for a given driving cycle and solve it as a sequence of second-order conic programs. Finally, we present a real-world case study for heavy-duty electric trucks, comparing a single-gear transmission with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and validate our approach with respect to state-of-the-art particle swarm optimization algorithms. Our results show that, depending on the electric motor technology, CVTs can reduce the energy consumption and the battery size of electric trucks between up to 10%, and shrink the electric motor up to 50%. 
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