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James would like to spend a nice day with his family, beginning with some shopping at Walmart, followed by an exciting game at PNC Park, and finally a nice dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in Southside Works. Unfortunately, as these locations are located in completely opposite directions, he has been unable to make this perfect day materialize.

Auto Pirates App

Figure 1: Book the boat from an App

Luckily, the new Auto-Pirates service and smartphone app as shown in Figure 1 has just launched, which allows anyone access to their own private water taxi ride. After installing the app, James sees some predefined pickup points/destinations on the map. James heads over to the closest pickup location, the Monongahela Wharf, and proceeds to request a taxi on his app. His location is sent to a server, which manages all the boats in the fleet. The system dispatches the closest boat which is currently unused, or is carrying passengers to James’ current location. As the boat is en route, James also receives a special code on his app, which will allow him exclusively access to the boat once it arrives.


                   Figure 2: The boat arrives as shown on the map

The boat arrives at the specified Auto-Pirates dock in the Wharf. After James gets on the boat, he proceeds to the Operator Control Unit, which is a touchscreen map similar to his smartphone app. James enters the code he received earlier and can now select a destination. He chooses Southside Works, and then the boat begins planning its trip. As the boat autonomously backs out of the dock, James can see a planned path on the map. As James enjoys the beautiful view along the river, he notices a large cargo ship approaching. He looks at the OCU and sees that the ship shows up as a blip on the map and the taxi has recalculated a new path that goes around the obstacle. He can also see buoys and bridges pop up as obstacles on the map. Eventually, the boat arrives at Southside Works and autonomously parks at its reserved dock, where the next set of passengers are waiting.


Figure3: The boat arrives the destination