Open-Source Vehicle Routing and Scheduling Software Solutions

Posted By : Anirudh Bhardwaj | April 21, 2022

Vehicle routing problems are often encountered by logistics companies that have to deal with an extensive fleet of vehicles to complete their day-to-day shipping schedules. To address these problems, we use vehicle routing and scheduling (VRS) software systems. The VRS systems provide the most optimal routing solution for cargo truck drivers and fleet operators. Here, we use data-driven business intelligence tools and distributed software modules to gain complete control over transportation, distribution, and shipment processes. At the same time, it helps fleet operators to stay on top of their shipping schedules and meet their delivery deadlines.  

In this blog post, we shall explore the importance of vehicle routing and scheduling software solutions for logistics companies. Here, our main focus will be on OptaPlanner, an open-source AI-based constraint solver that enables enterprises to build feature-rich planning solutions for diverse business needs. 

Vehicle Routing and Scheduling Software Solutions

 

Also, Read Smart Fleet Management Using OptaPlanner

 

Vehicle Routing and Scheduling (VRS) 

In their simplest form, VRS systems are software modules that help create shipping schedules for drivers and fleet operators. The VRS methods were introduced to accelerate the shipping cycle by providing the most optimal route to drivers for faster delivery of various products. In the following section, we shall delve into a detailed study about the importance of vehicle routing and scheduling software solutions using OptaPlanner. 

 

OptaPlanner

OptaPlanner is an AI-based constraint solver that is used to solve complex business problems in real-time. It works on Drools where we can write our business logic and algorithms. In doing so, it provides us with an optimum solution to several complex business problems including VRP, employee rostering, maintenance scheduling, conference scheduling, cloud optimization, and the like. 

 

Drools

Drools is a business rule management system (BRMS) that provides a rule-based engine to process facts and produce output as a result of rules and facts’ processing. The centralization of business logic makes it possible to introduce changes faster. Besides, it bridges the gap between the business and technical teams by providing a facility for writing the rules in a format that is easy to understand.

 

Also, Read OptaPlanner Software Development: Top Business Use Cases

 

Business Use Cases of OptaPlanner

Below are the key applications and use cases of OptaPlanner as an embeddable planning engine to provide vehicle routing and scheduling software solutions. 

 

Bus Routing

In bus routing, there are customers and their demands on one side, and vehicles on the other side. Here, our planning involves finding the shortest route to fulfill customer demands. 

 

Ambulance Routing

The VRS will be used for ambulance routing but there are some changes in their constraints. The ambulance routing involves finding the shortest routes leading to the nearest hospital. Here, the constraint is to minimize the time and reach the nearest hospital as early as possible.

 

Pickup and Delivery

The VRS will be used for a number of goods that need to be moved from certain pickup locations to other delivery locations. It involves finding the shortest route for vehicles to visit the pickup and drop-off locations. 

 

How Does OptaPlanner Work?

We have given configuration data and Drools file to SolverFactory to create the solver. After creating the solver, we have to put our VRS problem into the solver. The solver runs some algorithm internally for a particular period of time and then provides the optimal solution.

 

Also, Read Enhancing Employee Rostering Efficacy Using OptaPlanner

 

Limitations

Mentioned below are the possible setbacks that enterprises may face while implementing OptaPlanner for vehicle routing and scheduling software solutions. 

  1. Many optimization algorithms rely on the freedom to break hard constraints while changing planning entities, to get out of local optimization.
  2. Both implementation approaches have the following limitations i.e feature compatibility, disabling, automatic performance optimizations.

 

 Further Improvements

  1. Vehicle routing with a time window: the customer location has a time window wherein the customer reaches the desired location.
  2. Pickup and delivery: we find an optimal solution for vehicle routing across a delivery drop-off location.
  3. Multiple trips: the vehicle can reach more than one customer during a given time interval or in a single trip. 

     

Why Choose Oodles ERP For Vehicle Routing and Scheduling Software Solutions?

We are a 360-degree ERP software development company that specializes in building custom enterprise solutions for diverse business needs. Our seasoned developers are proficient in using open-source software technologies like Odoo, OFBiz, and ERPNext to build next-gen software applications. We have considerable experience in using OptaPlanner to build AI-driven enterprise planning solutions that are easy to scale and customize. Our OptaPlanner software development services are conducive to achieving better operational efficiency and maximizing profitability. For more information, reach us at [email protected].

About Author

Anirudh Bhardwaj

He is a technology enthusiast with 3+ years of experience in producing insightful content on projects related to next-gen technologies like AI, Blockchain, ERP, OTT, Cloud, Big Data, AR/VR, IoT, and more.

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