Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Driverless transport in big cities

08.08.2006
SINTEF is the only Scandinavian partner in the new EU project CityMobil, in which €40 million will help to develop more efficient transport in European cities.

While traffic problems in major cities have been familiar for a long time, the measures needed to deal with them have still to be put into effect. However, in its 6th Framework Programme, the EU is beating the big drum and looking for more efficient transport solutions in big cities, as well as more rational use of motor traffic. New traffic solutions such as completely automated vehicles moving on tracks, cars in defined corridors (cybercars) and bi-modal vehicles that can alternate between automatic and manual control, will aim to reduce traffic queues and pollution.


cybercar


Not science fiction

“This may sound like pure science fiction,” says senior scientist Torgeir Vaa at SINTEF, “but the technology already exists and a number of demonstrations and pilot studies in this area have already been carried out, and these show that the systems do work. In the future that we are talking about, private cars will have to park at the city limits, and other systems will take over in the centre. This means that there will be a need for rapid public transport systems (buses, trains, underground) and personal transport for short distances.

Heathrow Airport, a new exhibition centre in Rome and the Spanish city of Castellón are the sites that have been selected to demonstrate and confirm the viability of automated transport solutions. When the CityMobil project comes to an end in five years, these sites will have installed fully developed automated transport systems, and the first results will have been evaluated.

The Spanish city of Castellón will adopt bimodal buses that are capable of operating both manually and automatically – depending on where they are. In the new exhibition centre in Rome, a fleet of fully automated cybercars will be part of the fleet of vehicles that carry people between the car park, the railway station and the exhibition centre, while Heathrow will have a transit system that will carry people between the terminal and the car park in fully automated vehicles running on tracks.

From private motoring to public transport

Until now, advanced high technology has made most progress in private cars, where the introduction of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) has improved driving comfort. ADAS refers to support systems that prevent the driver from exceeding the speed limit by making the accelerator pedal “heavy”, or that ensure that cars keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead in a traffic queue.

CityMobil is a prolongation of the EU’s earlier Stardust project, in which SINTEF was also involved, and which built demonstration vehicles with ADAS technology that are in use today in the 0 Vision project in Lillehammer and in Trondheim City Operation.

Now, the EU wishes to focus on public transport, where little has been done, with the exception of a few automated metro systems (Paris, London, Lille) and some recently introduced automated buses and small units (Rouen, Eindhoven).

Trondheim in the reference group

The SINTEF scientists regard it as extremely important to be members of the powerful EU consortium that comprises Europe’s total expertise in this area, with the Netherlands’ TNO in the driving seat, as it were. This large-scale European project consists of five sub-projects, and SINTEF will be involved in two of these, on tasks that include payment systems and safety legislation and regulations.

“Imagine that you arrive at Heathrow and want to get from the car park to the terminal”, say Vaa. “You call up an automatic driverless unit that is circulating and comes to the spot where you are parked. But what about personal protection and safety aspects? What about other people who are standing at the same parking place? Another example concerns driverless vehicles in mixed traffic; who would be responsible in the event of an accident?”

Trondheim has also been selected as a member of a reference group of 15 European cities that will submit relevant problems to CityMobil and test out technological solutions in the course of the project.

“Although Rome, Castellón and Heathrow are the major demonstration sites, plans and concepts will also be set out for a number of other cities, in order to help local authorities make decisions regarding automated transport systems,” says Vaa. “Some of these cities will also benefit from hosting small-scale demonstrations of automated vehicles. This will all depend on how active the individual cities are. Both the City of Trondheim and the Directorate of Public Roads are members of the reference group, and we hope to have the new transport solutions demonstrated in Trondheim and perhaps in other Norwegian cities as part of the project.”

The CityMobil project has a budget of € 40 million and involves 28 partners in 10 different countries. SINTEF’s share is around € 4 million.

Aase Dragland | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sintef.no

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Realistic training for extreme flight conditions
28.12.2016 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>