Watch now: LEVITATE city dialogues webinar introduces PST

On April 7th, LEVITATE hosted a public webinar showcasing the principles of backcasting and the opportunities the resulting Policy Support Tool (PST) offers. Additionally, results of case studies in Vienna were presented, including the impacts of tolls on Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) and last-mile automated urban shuttle services. 

First, Andrew Morris from Loughborough University, presented the LEVITATE project and its goal of building tools to help European cities, regions and national governments prepare for a future with increasing levels of automated vehicles. Amongst others, the project has developed methods of measuring the impacts of CCAM, including using backcasting principles, on mobility, safety, the environment and society. 

Then Martin Zach from the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) laid out how LEVITATE’s backcasting methodology was established. Essentially, the method approaches the regulation of CCAM by starting from the top: initially, high-level visions and targets are set up (e.g. reducing CO2 emissions, accidents and fatalities), then possible influencing factors are identified (e.g. AV penetration rate and modal split of all journeys) and finally policy interventions are drawn up (e.g. road use pricing or public space reorganization).

This methodology is part of the foundations used to design LEVITATE’s open-access, web-based and user-friendly Policy Support Tool (PST), which was presented by Apostolos Ziakopoulos, from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). It is a one-stop-shop that integrates all of LEVITATE’s methodologies and findings, which can be used to assess CCAM general and targeted policy impacts using different automation penetration level scenarios. The webinar attendees were walked through the different parameters of the tool, which includes the assessment of 23 impacts, policy recommendations, benefits and costs of CCAM policies. 

Finally, Gerald Richter and Johannes Müller from AIT concluded by showing how regulating CCAM could impact the city of Vienna. The researchers presented how the use of various tolls could influence modality shares, including automated and human-driven cars. They further highlighted how autonomous last-mile urban shuttle service could be deployed according to demographic density, average age and location of neighborhoods in Vienna. 

See the presentation containing all the slides from this webinar »
The recording of the webinar can be viewed below:

LEVITATE’s final conference will be held on May 25th in Brussels.  
Register here to attend in-person or online »

LEVITATE webinar: Building a dialogue with the LEVITATE cities

From a cities’ perspective the advent of CCAM is not a strategic goal in itself. Rather, CCAM may be welcome if it is able to contribute to the city’s sustainability and liveability goals. There are impact areas where an increasing market penetration of automated vehicles may enter into conflict with the strategic goals of a city, particularly in the absence of regulation. How to define feasible paths of interventions, starting from a set of quantified goals, is addressed in the backcasting methodology of LEVITATE.

This webinar will enable you to learn about the principles of backcasting, how a dialogue with city authorities led to valuable qualitative inputs for our research, and how the final results of our impact assessment relate to the backcasting approach. As an example, the results for the city of Vienna will be discussed, including a detailed case study based on the backcasting city dialogue.

  • Brief introduction to LEVITATE | Andrew Morris, Loughborough University
  • An overview of the backcasting approach and its application to the city of Vienna | Martin Zach, AIT
  • Combining methods and models to obtain quantitative results for impacts | Martin Zach, AIT
  • A user-friendly tool for forecasting impacts and backcasting – the LEVITATE Policy Support Tool | Apostolos Ziakopoulos, NTUA
  • Next steps for the Vienna investigation | Gerald Richter and Johannes Müller, AIT

LEVITATE webinar: Building a dialogue with the LEVITATE cities – the case of Vienna
Date & time: 7 April 2022 – 14.00-15.30 CET
Registration >>

Watch now: LEVITATE freight case studies webinar

Nearly 40 persons attended the LEVITATE webinar focusing on freight, which took place on 31 January 2022. Two freight case studies presented by researchers from LEVITATE partner, the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), were complemented by a contribution from the logistics platform ALICE, with which LEVITATE is cooperating in terms of sharing knowledge and dissemination activities.

The first of the LEVITATE freight case studies, presented by Bin Hu of AIT, covered an automated parcels delivery system in urban areas, for which the city of Vienna provided the test area. The main conclusions suggest that:

  • Electric vehicles will reduce the (local) emissions, but not the mileage
  • Consolidation reduces both, but is difficult to implement
  • Automation facilitates consolidation and reduces operating costs

The second freight case study addressed the impacts of truck platooning on urban bridges and was introduced by Marian Ralbovsky, AIT.  The following conclusions were reached:

  • Truck platooning can significantly impact urban highway bridges
  • Effects depend on traffic composition (portion of trucks in traffic)
  • Mostly only bridges with large spans (river crossings) are expected to be affected
  • Intelligent access control can ensure bridge safety under platooned traffic

The final presentation was given by Fernando Liesa, Secretary General of Alice, which is a European Technology Platform bringing together stakeholders from the logistics sector. Fernando shared some of the main findings from projects and members activities that are relevant to CCAM. Among the useful insights provided are:

  • According to a survey by the Award project on incentives to use automated trucks, the most popular answer was ‘improve vehicle utilisation’
  • The shortage of truck drivers is a problem that CCAM may be able to help address

The ‘freight case studies webinar’ webinar recording can be found on this web page and directly on YouTube »

LEVITATE webinar: Case studies for automated freight transport

This webinar showcases the impacts of cooperative, connected, and automated mobility (CCAM) on two case studies for freight transport: Automated delivery & automated consolidation and Platooning on highway bridges, presented by the Austrian institute of Technology (AIT).

First, we consider the future urban delivery system for parcels via a robo-van concept. Automated delivery vans act as mobile hubs and carry small autonomous delivery robots that swarm out to perform the delivery to the households for the last 200m. In this concept, a further consolidation step through city-hubs can help to reduce the urban freight mileage. In a case study, we showcase the assessment approach and the transferability of the methodology to multiple cities.

The second case study is on platooning on highway bridges. As automation in freight transport increases, we look at the vertical and horizontal traffic load effects on bridges caused by truck platooning. Especially old bridges were built when platoons did not exist. Soon, when platooning can increase the traffic density heavily, structural weakness may cause severe damage to these bridges and the consequences would be disastrous. In this case study, we assess the costs and effects of possible measures for bridges, namely structural strengthening, and access control.

The webinar will include a presentation given by ALICE (Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration in Europe) to provide an overview of the main trends and challenges for freight and logistics and how CCAM solutions fit in the broader context; which are the expectations, and which are the key EU CCAM for freight initiatives. ALICE will also share its views on the future of automated delivery and platooning on highway bridges.

Join us online to get informed on the future of automated freight delivery and its impacts on mobility and our daily lives!

Date & time: 31 January 2022 – 10:00-11:30
Registration >>

LEVITATE webinar: Automated road transport – impact assessment methodologies

Cooperative, connected, and automated mobility (CCAM) is expected to be introduced in increasing numbers over the next decades, having considerable impacts on mobility, safety, the environment and society as a whole. The Horizon 2020 project LEVITATE aims to prepare a new impact assessment framework to enable policymakers to manage the introduction of cooperative, connected and automated mobility, maximise the benefits and utilise the technologies to achieve societal objectives.

LEVITATE  studied 3 use cases: automated urban transport, the automated passenger cars and the automated freight transport. In terms of the automated urban transport use case two sub-use cases were studied. The point-to-point automated urban shuttle service (AUSS) and the on-demand AUSS that were formulated after an extensive literature review and a Stakeholders reference group workshop. For these sub-use cases several impacts were quantified on traffic, safety, the environment, and society using microscopic simulation, mesoscopic simulation, system dynamics and the Delphi method.

This webinar took place on 23 November. The impact assessment methodologies used and the results that occurred regarding the automated urban transport sub-use cases were discussed. Several partners presented their findings including National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Loughborough University (LOUGH) and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT).

In case couldn’t attend this webinar, watch the recording »

The next  LEVITATE webinar will take place on 14 December.

Watch now: webinar on policy interventions

This LEVITATE webinar provided insights on the potential impacts of introducing policy measures related to on-street parking repurposing (driving or cycle lane, public space or pick-up/drop off), road-user pricing and dedicated CAV lanes. These policy interventions have been assessed using realistic traffic models (Manchester and Leicester) in terms of their impacts on traffic (delay and travel time), the environment (CO2, NOx and PM) and road safety. A variety of traffic assessment methods have been used including micro and mesoscopic simulation, systems dynamics and Delphi. A fully calibrated traffic model for Vienna was also presented.

The LEVITATE webinar ‘Policy interventions’ took place on 18 October 2021. Listen to researchers from Loughborough University and the Austrian Institute of Technology.
Watch the recording here »

LEVITATE webinar on road safety assessment of CATS

On 27 May, the 4th LEVITATE webinar took place with more than 80 participants to share the project’s research results about the impact of automated vehicles on road safety.

The interactive webinar was introduced by Andrew Morris (Loughborough University) who shared general information about Levitate with the audience. The webinar was moderated by Wendy Weijermars (SWOV) while Rins de Zwart (SWOV), Amna Chaudry (Loughborough University) and Andreas Hula (AIT) shared their research results on road safety impacts of connected and automated vehicles (CATS). Based on a poll launched during the webinar, most participants expect a considerable improvement in road safety with the introduction of CATS, but they do not expect that all serious crashes can be prevented. LEVITATE’s two-steps approach in the estimation of impacts determines that which ways the road safety is impacted by the development of CATS, and as a second step, the project tries to quantify these impacts as far as possible with the help of literature review and conducting interviews with stakeholders. The audience was proactive and asked several questions to the panelists which has been answered live or written during the event.

Curious about the presented impacts on road safety and the outcomes of the discussion? Watch the recorded webinar here:

LEVITATE webinar: Road safety assessment of automated vehicles

Connected and automated transport systems (CATS) are expected to be introduced in increasing numbers over the next decades. Moreover, they are expected to have considerable impacts on mobility, safety, the environment and society as a whole. The Horizon 2020 project LEVITATE aims to forecast these impacts.

One of the impacts of CATS that is considered in LEVITATE is road safety, which is high on the agenda when it comes to mobility planning and management. First of all, it is identified in which ways road safety is affected by increasing penetration levels of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) and policy interventions related to CATS. Second, it is discussed what is known from the literature concerning road safety impacts of CATS and finally, road safety impacts are quantified as far as possible by combining various approaches.

During this webinar between 14:00-15:30 CEST, 27 May, we would like to discuss with you which road safety impacts can be expected from CATS and how the different types of impacts are quantified within LEVITATE. Several partners will present their findings including Loughborough University, SWOV – Institute for Road Safety Research and the Austrian Institute of Technology.


  1. Welcome and introduction – Andrew Morris & Wendy Weijermars
  2. Road safety impacts of CATS that can be expected  – Rins de Zwart
  3. Questions and feedback – Moderator, Wendy Weijermars
  4. Quantification of impacts within Levitate:
    1. Approach: Rins de Zwart
    2. Estimation of impacts using microsimulation – Amna Chaudhry
    3. Estimation of impacts on Vulnerable Road Users – Andreas Hula
  5. Closing remarks – Wendy Weijermars
  6. Questions and feedback concerning the quantification and closing remarks – Moderator, Wendy Weijermars


Could the introduction of Automated Vehicles (CAVs) be one of the solutions to increase road safety?
Join us to find the answers!
Register here »

Webinar: Impact assessment of automated vehicles

There is growing consensus that public authorities have an important role to play to ensure vehicle automation delivers positive mobility outcomes and averts negative effects. To help them make the right policy choices requires an understanding of the potential impacts of automated vehicles and of the most suitable policy options.

Details & registration
The LEVITATE and CoEXist projects are developing knowledge and tools to help cities prepare for and steer the introduction of automated vehicles. The webinar will specifically provide insights into the methods developed for assessing the impacts of automated vehicles across a range of mobility domains and the findings from their application in real-life scenarios and using policy options such as parking regulation, road pricing and dedicated AV lanes.

The webinar is a Polis initiative in cooperation with the LEVITATE and CoEXist projects. It will be moderated by Suzanne Hoadley. Featured speaker will be: Dr. Hitesh Boghani, Senior Research Associate at Transport Safety Research Centre (representing LEVITATE). More information on other speakers will be provided soon.

Title:  Mobilising Mobility: Impact assessment of automated vehicles
Date: 15 October 2020, 16h00 – 17h00 CEST

Register now »

About CoEXist
CoEXist is a European project which prepares the transition phase during which automated and conventional vehicles will co-exist on cities’ roads. It bridges the gap between automated vehicles (AVs) technology, transportation and infrastructure planning, by strengthening the capacities of urban road authorities and cities to plan for the effective deployment of AVs.

Watch the second LEVITATE webinar!

What impacts connected and automated driving will have on urban transport, in our local context? Find out!

The second LEVITATE webinar on 11 June was organized around the theme of urban transport and the impacts of automation on local level, brought by two city and transport authority representatives as well as the work package leader (National Technical University of Athens) on urban transport sharing their views.

The webinar was kicked off by Anna Craciun, project lead on LEVITATE at Transport for Greater Manchester, who presented Manchester’s transport vision, CAVs policy and need of innovations due to the COVID-19 crisis. Her colleague Hannah (ITS Engineer) gave an outlook about these future developments mentioning smart junctions and 5G network and video analytics in transport, which can facilitate the use of connected and automated vehicles in an urban context. They highlighted the importance of cooperation between local authorities in order to learn and get feedback from other cities’ experiences on innovations.

The second presentation was given by Professor George Yannis from the National Technical University of Athens who is the leader of the work package on urban transport in project LEVITATE. He presented the initial findings of their research on the specific impacts of automation in urban mobility, specifically on point-to-point shuttles and autonomous on demand shuttle services through impacts such as changes in CO2 emissions and delay time. The preliminary results are available in the recorded webinar. The main output of the project, the structure of the Policy Support Tool has been presented, as well.

Last, but not at least Michael Glotz-Richter from the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (and member of the Stakeholder Reference Group of the project) gave a mind-blowing presentation about the viewpoint of a municipality on automation in transport. He clearly stated that automation is already here with us more than we would think, giving examples from recent innovations. He also highlighted that operation of autonomous vehicles are more difficult in an urban context, as separation is a challenge in an existing infrastructure. Although, as 90% of road vehicles (replacing individual car ownership) can be replaced by operating autonomous vehicle services, more space is going to free up in our cities.

The webinar induced an active discussion between the audience and the presenters which can be listened to in the recorded webinar together with the above-mentioned presentations.