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An Intelligent Community Fleet in Indianapolis

Providing an efficient supply of vehicles to sustainably serve diverse community transportation needs

Photo of Adam Simkin

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The transportation needs of Indy residents are diverse and evolving. Indianapolis is making great strides in providing access to high-quality public transportation however the most sensitive groups of people will likely continue to fall through the cracks. These groups include the 200,000 Indy residents living in food deserts according to a SAVI study, senior citizens who do not have reliable transportation to their doctor and may resort to EMS services to get treatment, or the 49% of residents living in poverty who according to projections shown in the Marion County Transit plan, will still not have access to a frequent route even after full implementation.

Rather than funding a dedicated and costly fleet to target each of these issues independently, a highly optimized city vehicle fleet would enable these different needs to be sustainably served by one shared pool of vehicles, therefore providing high service levels to the community while also minimizing the need for public investment and subsidies. The autofleet platform transforms any vehicle fleet into an intelligent and highly responsive supply that multiple transportation service can plug into, creating the opportunity for the Indianapolis community to provide innovative solutions to some of the city’s most pressing issues.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

With a single optimized and elastic source of vehicles, services can be efficiently provided to a wide range of different users. Specialized services for each target population can be developed and implemented on top of this intelligent fleet, with designated ordering/ booking platforms for each unique user group: Senior citizens, food deliveries for underserved populations, employee transportation, safe ride-hailing, etc..

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Ready to Scale - you have completed and expanded your pilot and are seeing adoption of your solution by your intended user

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Autofleet has extensive experience in facilitating optimized fleet operations. Our platform manages over 1,200 deployed vehicles, operating in 7 countries. We have worked with diverse fleets sourced from rental companies, car sharing operators, energy companies, public transportation operators, etc. in order to optimize existing operations and launch new on-demand services. From these deployments, we have seen the potential for favorable unit economics and profitability from a shared fleet.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Autofleet ( is a startup based in Tel Aviv, Israel that optimizes fleets (rental companies, OEMs, public transportation operators, etc.) to create an elastic supply of vehicles to serve any source of demand. Through the autofleet platform, fleet owners can maximize the efficiency of existing operations while maximizing utilization by launching new business models such as car-sharing, ride-hailing, and subscription from a single fleet.

Size of your team or organization

  • 11-50

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

- Simulations to optimize complementary demand sources, plan fleet-related infrastructure, and build operational business model - $10K - Fleet set-up costs - $12K - Developing and integration of customer-facing services (Senior transportation, food delivery, subsidized employee transportation, etc.) - $20K - Driver and fleet operator hiring and training - $5K - Customer registration, promotion, and on-boarding - $10K - Weekly operational costs for 8-week pilot - $5,000 ($40K total)

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

1. Run ride simulations to gain a better understanding of how demand should be met most efficiently. 2. Partner with fleet to provide supply base for pilot - fleet can be sourced from autofleet’s existing rental/ car-sharing fleet partners, from local transportation fleets, or through a partnership with Ford. 3. Partner with the city to design and source transportation solutions to be piloted, based on target populations and complementary demand interactions (to ensure fleet is well utilized throughout the day) 4. Publicize rider apps through targeted outreach, find riders to monitor for each target group (senior citizens, people who lack reliable transportation to work, and another group that may be served) 5. Deploy services, with live monitoring and optimization of fleet based on performance 6. Continuous improvements in fleet optimization based on shifting demand profile, adding more customer services to be provided from the same shared fleet supply, scaling up fleet

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Success will be measured through careful monitoring of several key performance indicators. By tracking metrics such as fleet utilization (percentage of time the fleet is in use), revenue per mile, cost per mile, and driver and rider ratings, we can understand both the sustainability and profitability of the operation, and also the benefit and experience of the end customers. As the pilot progresses, we will begin by measuring fleet utilization patterns and determine which services are complementary and increase overall utilization. For example, the demand for a senior citizen medical transportation service may peak at the same time in which demand for trips to the grocery store is lowest. The second metric we will track is revenue and cost per mile. This will help determine how to price the different services in future deployments. Lastly, we will review driver and rider feedback to make improvements for future deployments.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

After the pilot period ends, the Intelligent City Fleet can continue to scale and address more unmet needs in the Indianapolis community. Our experience with offering services with a shared fleet show that the solution can significantly reduce costs compared to services based on dedicated fleets, enabling the city to create a long-term profitable business model, while still offering reduced-cost services to target populations.


Join the conversation:

Photo of MaCie' Moore

Hey Adam Simkin this is MaCie' one of the facilitators here! Thank you for participating in the challenge! The city of Indianapolis through the Thrive Indianapolis process created a Social Vulnerability Assessment that displays our most vulnerable communities using 12 socioeconomic factors which can be found in Thrive Indianapolis on page 18. I believe looking into this document and connecting and using this could help build a connection with the city and your proposal. I currently work for the office that created Thrive Indianapolis and the Social Vulnerability Assessment which is also housed in DPW (which controls city fleet), so if you would like to discuss further I have no problem doing so, or connecting you with someone within DPW.

Photo of Adam Simkin

Thanks MaCie' - I was not aware of that mapping in the Thrive report, thanks for directing my attention to it. From our experience in other cities, by focusing on specifically vulnerable geographies, increased access to mobility can help lessen the impacy of many of the risk factors outlined in the report: access to employment, education, nutritious food, etc. I would love to discuss further - I'll message you directly.

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