Announcing swap tasks in Zoba Move

Jay Cox-Chapman
Apr 29 · 3 min read

Today, Zoba is announcing support for battery swap tasks in the output of Zoba Move, our supply repositioning product. The addition of swaps increases labor productivity up to 20% in terms of tasks per hour, on top of the 20–50% gains in ridership that customers typically see from the deployment and rebalancing features of Move.

Now, market managers simply enter a desired volume of deployment, rebalance, and swap tasks and Move chooses the best vehicles, locations, and tasks for the market. A shift that previously required hundreds of individual decisions is simplified into a single task list, batched and sequenced for easy execution.

Without Zoba, fleet tasks can be overwhelming

Where possible, Zoba will combine rebalance and swap tasks together for higher operational efficiency. The gains can be significant, as my colleague Nick detailed in a previous post.

Using swaps is easy. Before each vehicle leaves the warehouse, the market manager inputs the number of swaps to complete, along with van capacities. In the example below, we see this market planning to rebalance 10 vehicles and swap 35 batteries. They’re doing it with two vans, each of which can carry 30 vehicles and 33 batteries.

Market managers enter task volumes and vehicle capacities in the Zoba portal

The output then includes pickups (for rebalancing), swaps that occur in-place, and a combination swap and pickup, batched by van and sequenced in an optimal order. The output below can be integrated into your operational tools (via CSV or JSON) or used directly as a task list.

Sample task list

Swap tasks can be executed as standalone tasks (a “battery_swap” in the output) or can be combined with rebalancing tasks (pickup_swap_battery). In the example below, assume each circle contains 50 vehicles. The day’s tasks will be 50 rebalances and 50 swaps, for a total of 100 tasks. However, 25 of the rebalances coincide with swaps on the same vehicle, so the market only performs 75 vehicle visits. Those 25 tasks represent productivity gains for you and your team because they don’t have to revisit those vehicles separately.

Behind the scenes, Zoba Move is making decisions about battery level and demand. If a vehicle is in a high-demand location but has a low battery, all it needs is a new battery to continue capturing rides. If it’s in a low-demand location and has a low battery, we want to move it to a better location with a fresh battery. As Zoba cofounder Dan Brennan pointed out last month, combining tasks is the optimal way to transition to swappable batteries.

We also batch tasks by van and sequence them in an optimal order to minimize driving time and respect van capacities, both in terms of vehicles and batteries:

Zoba’s batching and sequencing features give operations staff a clear path through their tasks.

Adding swap tasks to Zoba deployment and rebalancing lists makes task management more integrated and convenient for operational teams, and raises overall fleet performance. To learn more and start using swaps today, contact Zoba sales.

Zoba Blog

Zoba uses demand forecasting and optimization to improve the performance of shared mobility services. On this blog, Zoba operations leaders, data scientists, and engineers write about the problems we solve for shared mobility operators and tools we use to solve those problems.

Jay Cox-Chapman

Written by

Director of Product at Zoba.

Zoba Blog

Zoba uses demand forecasting and optimization to improve the performance of shared mobility services. On this blog, Zoba operations leaders, data scientists, and engineers write about the problems we solve for shared mobility operators and tools we use to solve those problems.