LEVITATE Final Conference on May 25th

Last week, LEVITATE’s Final Conference took place at the heart of the European Union, at the Scotland House in Brussels, located opposite the European Commission. The hybrid conference was an opportunity for the project’s partners to share with the wider public the result of three years of work.

The day was structured in four parts.

First, the day was opened by Georgios Sarros, a Project Manager at CINEA, who placed LEVITATE within the wider landscape and opportunities of Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM) within the European Union. Then, the project’s consortium presented the Building Blocks of the LEVITATE impact assessment framework, including how the studied impacts were determined, the processes of defining the selected use cases, selecting the policy interventions, and conducting the cost-benefit analysis.

Once the overarching methodology was set, the third part of the day started: the Key Results. The short, medium and long-term impacts of the project’s use cases – urban freight, urban transport, and passenger cars – and specific case studies were explained. Finally, a hands-on presentation of the Policy Support Tool occurred where delegates could test the tool in teams following demonstrations.  The conference was closed with presentations on the Policy Implications of CCAM, particularly in the cities of Vienna and Greater Manchester, which played a central role in LEVITATE.

The slides of the LEVITATE Final Conference are available below:

Part 1: Opening and Building Blocks
Part 2: Key Results and Policy Perspective
Part 3: PST Tool and Closing Section

#H2020RTR21 Conference | Automated driving and the users

The H2020 Road Transport Research European Conference was back with its 5th edition on 29 & 30 March 2022. LEVITATE was on the agenda on the first day in the parallel session: Automated driving and the users.

Andrew Morris, Loughborough University, presented the results of LEVITATE. He was accompanied by Peter Moertl (HADRIAN), Michiel Christoph (MEDIATOR) and Núria Parera Sallent (Safe-UP) who shared their insights and the results on their H2020 projects.

The panel of aforementioned experts talked about the need for a holistic approach when it comes to understanding users and innovative mobility solutions, moderated by Ingrid Skogsmo (VTI) and Suzanna Kraak (Policy Officer at the EC). Diversity, inclusivity and safety were at the heart of the discussion. More R&I activities on this topic will be essential to put users front and center in the development of Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility!

In case you missed it, you can replay the session below:

Access the replay of each session by clicking on their hyperlinked title »

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 Final Conference

After 3 years of intensive work, the LEVITATE partners are looking forward to sharing the results achieved and the tools developed to assess the potential societal impacts of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) on the mobility system and wider livability goals, including safety, the environment, the economy and society.

The LEVITATE impact assessment framework has been turned into a user-friendly and interactive online tool, called the policy support tool (PST). PST allows users, particularly local authorities, to forecast the potential impacts of increasing levels of vehicle automation and penetration, as well as to calculate the effects of implementing policy interventions such as road pricing, the removal of on-street parking or implementing an automated vehicle dedicated lane.

Participants will learn about many areas of the project, such as:

  • which impact areas have been selected and why
  • the assumptions behind the expected impacts
  • the range of methods for gathering input about the expected impacts
  • the definition of policy interventions to steer the deployment of automated vehicles
  • the expected automated vehicle use cases
  • the policy implications of CAVs

There will also be a demonstration of the PST and an opportunity for participants to try out the tool.

Practical information
The final event allows both onsite and remote participation. Attendance in person will be easier for those wishing to try out the PST as partners will be on hand to guide them. The event will follow the latest COVID-19 guidelines of the Belgian and Brussels authorities.

What: LEVITATE Final Conference
When: May 25, 2022 | 10:00 until 16:00 (CET)
Where: Scotland House Conference Centre, located at Rond-Point Schuman 6, 1040 Brussels.

Registration open
We invite you to register here »
In case you cannot attend the final conference in person, we invite you to join the event online by indicating this in your registration form.


9.30: Registration and welcome coffee/tea


10:00 – Welcome by Pete Thomas/Andrew Morris, Loughborough University, project coordinator and CINEA (tbc)

10:10 – Brief introduction to LEVITATE, Pete Thomas, Loughborough University


10:20 – The building blocks of the LEVITATE impact assessment framework

  • Determining the impacts of most relevance to cities, Rune Elvik TOI
  • Developing backcasting: starting from desired visions, Martin Zach, AIT
  • Defining the use cases and policy interventions, Bin Hu, AIT
  • Predicting the impact of CAVs on road safety, Wendy Weijermars, SWOV
  • Conducting a cost-benefit analysis, Knut Hartveit, TOI

11:10 – Refreshments


11:40 – The short, medium and long-term impacts of CAVs, including the expected impacts of policy interventions

  • Urban freight, Bin Hu, AIT
  • Urban transport, Julia Roussou, NTUA
  • Passenger cars, Amna Chaudry, Loughborough university

12:10 – Selected case studies

  • Selected case studies
  • Automated Ride Sharing, Loughborough University
  • The interaction of CAV deployment and road use pricing in Vienna, AIT


12:30 – The role of LEVITATE in understanding the policy implications of CAVs

  • Introduction, Amna Chaudhry, Loughborough University
  • The Vienna perspective, Helmut Augustin, city of Vienna
  • The Manchester perspective, Liam Potts, Transport for Greater Manchester

13:00 – Lunch


14:00 – Introduction and demonstration, Apostolos Ziakopoulos, NTUA

14:20 – Hands-on trial of the PST CAV impacts prediction module, facilitated by LEVITATE partners


15:45 – What’s next for LEVITATE?

15:55 – Closing words

16:00 – Close of Conference


Download the Conference Program »

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 »

Guidelines and recommendations for future policy of cooperative and automated passenger transport

The aim of the LEVITATE project is to prepare a new impact assessment framework to enable policymakers to manage the introduction of connected and automated transport systems, maximise the benefits and utilise the technologies to achieve societal objectives. As part of this work, LEVITATE seeks to forecast societal level impacts of connected and automated transport systems (CATS) or, as these systems are more recently referred to, cooperative, connected, and automated mobility (CCAM). These impacts include effects on mobility, safety, environment and economy. Work Package 6 considers the societal impacts of automated passenger car use in urban environments. Within WP6, the impacts of six policy measures related to particular developments in automated passenger cars are considered in what are termed sub-use cases.

The goal of this deliverable is to summarize the more detailed results presented in deliverables D6.2-D6.4 to provide an overview of the main expected trends for each of the quantified impacts (e.g. emissions, congestion). D6.5 Guidelines and recommendations for future policy of cooperative and automated passenger transport is written by Gebhard, S., Nabavi Niaki, M., Schermers, G ,Goldenbeld, C. (all SWOV, The Netherlands), Chaudhry, A (Loughborough).

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 >>

Working paper on the road safety impacts of CCAM

LEVITATE aims to forecast impacts of developments related to Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM). Impacts are estimated for different so-called ‘sub use cases’ (SUCs) that reflect applications or interventions which can be implemented by policy makers. The impacts for the sub use cases are estimated by comparing the situation with intervention to the situation without intervention, i.e., the baseline scenario. The baseline scenario reflects the starting point for which increasing penetration levels of first cautious and later more ambitious automated vehicles (CAVs) are estimated over time. One of the relevant impact areas of CCAM is road safety.

This working document prepared by SWOV discusses in which way road safety is impacted by increasing penetration levels of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) and 2) quantifies the road safety impacts of increasing penetration levels of CAVs as far as possible.

Read the working paper Road safety related impacts within the Levitate project »

LEVITATE at POLIS Conference in Gothenburg

The POLIS Annual Conference has been held in Gothenburg on 1 and 2 December 2021. 640 participants were present exchanging knowledge on the outcomes of EU transport projects. POLIS Network, one of the partners of project LEVITATE, organizes its Conference every year to give a platform for exchange of best practices between POLIS members and EU transport project representatives.

LEVITATE was represented by several project partners, including the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), giving visibility to the project results at the exhibition and a dedicated session on Vehicle Automation. LEVITATE and its Policy Support Tool (PST) – which is in the final phase of development – has been demonstrated by Apostolos Ziakopoulos, Research Associate at NTUA. Presentations from this dedicated session 4B are available here. During his presentation Apostolos expressed that: “The PST will consolidate the outputs of different methods into an overall framework for the assessment of impacts, benefits and costs of connected and automated transport services, for different automation and penetration levels and on different time horizons.”

The PST received big interest after the presentation and several local representatives followed up at the exhibition booth, where the animated video introducing the LEVITATE Policy Support Tool has debuted.

Follow LEVITATE on social media to get updates about the final Policy Support Tool and what it offers local, regional, and national authorities.