myTOSA: simulation tool for the optimization of a catenary-free electric urban transportation system

©Alain Herzog

The aim of this project is to provide a simulation tool that will allow an optimized dimensioning of a catenary free urban public transportation system, based on the TOSA 2013 project in Geneva.

ABB introduced a revolutionary catenary-free electric bus concept – TOSA bus system – that includes small short-range on-board batteries and a series of fully automated fast charging stations installed at some bus stops. The automatic fast-charging stations partially recharge the bus batteries in a few seconds whenever a bus arrives at the bus stops, while avoiding any interference with the bus’ schedules and operations.

myTOSA project helps to optimize the setup of this bus system and aims at quantitatively assessing and predicting its impact. The specific role of the Transport and Mobility Laboratory (TRANSP-OR) at EPFL is to develop mathematical models that will optimize the strategic and operational decisions both for the design and the management of this new public transportation system.

The main strategic decision is the location of charging stations. Therefore an optimal placement of the right infrastructure at the right location to ensure the feasibility of transport operations is the strategic level objective of the mathematical model. In addition to the location of charging stations, another objective is the optimization of the total cost of ownership. These costs include, amongst others, the operating cost of charging stations and of the buses equipped with special batteries.

The mathematical model for the optimization of strategic and operational level decisions should satisfy the network constraints regarding the energy needs and bus schedules. Therefore the resulting model will require appropriate solution methodologies.

Press kit

On November 29, 2013, the project won the Innovation Award from the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce.

Principal investigator Prof. Michel Bierlaire
Project manager Jianghang Chen
Sponsor Commission for Technology and Innovation
Period 2012-2014
Laboratory TRANSP-OR
Partners ABB Sécheron, HE-ARC
Collaboration TRACE