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 Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

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: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>