Route planning has always been slow and expensive, but it’s not without a good reason.
Manually, it’ll probably take a team of 5-6 dispatchers and a few good hours to plan some 500 stops for 10+ drivers. And we’re talking about simplistic route planning here.
Throw in factors such as load and capacity, time windows, vehicle type constraints, etc., and your team of dispatchers must be prepared to work late into the night. Every single day.
Not only is route planning slow, tedious, and expensive, it can quickly become impossible for large fleets. Can you imagine manually planning 5,000 stops for a fleet of 100+ drivers?
Good luck with that.
Granted, we’ve always used computers to perform tedious tasks like this, and since computers normally take just a fraction of the time we humans take to complete the same task, surely they will be able to help?
Unfortunately for humankind, route planning is one problem that even computers find it hard to solve. Or specifically, NP-hard to solve.
To put things into perspective, finding an exact solution for a 500 stops route plan will take a computer years even with todays’ computational powers. And that’s just using straight lines!
This is why for decades, scientists have turned to using heuristic algorithms to make route planning even possible for practical use i.e. complete planning in time for dispatch, albeit with varying degrees of success.
The truth is, solving the challenge of route planning is really about tackling scale. Good algorithms should be able to produce plans fast, no matter if the fleet is big or small.
Unfortunately, even with the use of heuristics, most algorithms struggle to scale as the time required to complete planning tend to grow exponentially with the number of stops required to be routed in a single plan.
This is where ElasticRoute comes in.
We’ve invented Elgo, a heuristic algorithm that is able to reduce the polynomial time required to plan routes into linear time i.e. one that doesn’t grow exponentially with the number of stops. And not just that, it’s impossibly fast.
Here’s what we are talking about: 1,000 stops in 5 minutes. 5,000 stops in under 30 minutes.
And we are only getting started.
Our goal is to make route planning Fast, Scalable, and Affordable so that dispatchers around the world will no longer need to bear the pain of manual route planning for another day, ever again.
Route Planning? Game On.