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.

Programme

  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

Registration

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

Backcasting city dialogues: Feasible paths of interventions – the case of Vienna

The impact of connected and automated transport systems (CATS) in several areas also has strong implications on a very central question of urban development: Given a certain vision based on a set of quantified policy goals for a city or a region, which supporting role take recommended policy interventions related to CATS to achieve that vision? This article provides a short overview of the backcasting approach applied in LEVITATE that addresses this question.

From a cities’ perspective the advent of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) is not a strategic goal by itself. Rather, they are welcome if they are able to contribute to the defined smart city goals and have to support a livable city. Improvements in road safety or reductions in the demand for public parking space are promising candidates for such supported goals, with quantitative investigation of impacts currently ongoing in the project. But there are some other impact areas where an increasing market penetration of CAVs (without specific regulations) might be in conflict with the strategic goals of a city: empty AVs avoiding parking fees might increase congestion; the attractiveness of AVs might lead to adverse changes in modal split; acceptance of longer driving distances (due to increased comfort and use of travel time for working) might further increase road traffic and promote urban sprawl. It is therefore essential for cities to integrate the full spectrum of related policy interventions into their considerations to prepare for the era of CATS – right from the start. Some positive impacts might be reinforced and accelerated by the appropriate policies, other desired impacts might occur only if a specific combination of policy interventions is applied – with the appropriate timing – and finally, some unwanted negative impacts might be mitigated by corresponding interventions. These causal relationships, however, are not always as simple and intuitive as it might appear at first sight. A lot of interdependencies – as in every complex system extending over different domains – makes it a necessity to apply a formal approach and consider a set of different methodologies that can support cities in their strategic decisions.

Defining a desirable vision in a quantitative way is the essential starting point for the backcasting process. From that vision the idea is to work backwards, via influencing factors (that are impacting the goals and indicators of the vision), to policy interventions which address these factors and thereby contribute towards the vision. Generating this series of logical links is a central part of the process, as it highlights feasible paths of interventions, steering into the desired direction. The steps in this process are explained in more detail and exemplified for the City of Vienna in the following article by the Austrian Institute of Technology.

3rd European Conference on Connected and Automated Driving – EUCAD 2021

EUCAD 2021 will be a high-level and evidence-based conference where policy challenges meet innovative solutions to deliver on societal benefits. The event is the only conference in Europe that brings together political leaders from the European Commission and Member States with high-level representatives of industry, knowledge institutes and road authorities to exchange knowledge and experience on the most recent technological developments and policies in the area of cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM).

The conference, taking place on 20-22 April 2021, consists of a series of plenary sessions complemented by several thematic breakout discussions as well as a virtual exhibition available throughout the event. The first two days of the programme are primarily policy-oriented while the third day is fully dedicated to break-out sessions discussing specific R&I challenges. All break-out sessions feature interactive panel discussions on specific R&I questions, combined with active audience participation. The virtual exhibition features R&I projects active in the field of automated mobility, including their presentation, documentation and contact information. The exhibition could also feature virtual demonstrations by some large-scale pilot projects.

Programma & registration
The programme for the conference is now published. Registration (free of charge) shall open shortly!

Can the impacts of connected and automated vehicles be predicted?

A huge research effort is going on in order to develop connected and automated vehicles. Small-scale trials of automated vehicles in real traffic are already taking place. Can the societal impacts of a transition to fully connected and automated vehicles be predicted?

The answers to the question is that many of these impacts depend on the policies implemented to regulate the introduction of connected and automated vehicles. This applies particularly to two of the impacts that are difficult to predict: whether vehicle automation will be associated with a transition to electric vehicles, and whether it will be associated with a transition to shared mobility.
It is more likely that automated cars will be electric than that they will have combustion engines. However, to make a transition to electric cars more likely and speed it up, policies favouring electric cars may be necessary. Norwegian experience shows that a transition to electric cars can be stimulated by public policy.

Studies (e.g. Clayton et al. 2020) consistently show that individual use of automated cars is preferred to shared use. If the introduction of connected and automated cars is left to the market, it is likely that individual car ownership will continue at current rates. In that case, traffic is likely to increase, as the generalised cost of travel will be lower in automated cars than in manual cars, chiefly because the value of travel time savings is likely to become lower. Travel time is less burdensome and less wasted if it can be used to work or relax. An increase in traffic will reduce the benefits of connected and automated cars in terms of less congestion, fewer accidents and less emissions.

If this prediction is accepted, policies aimed at maximising the societal benefits of connected and automated cars may, perhaps paradoxically, need to counteract some of the private benefits of these cars. Experience shows that whenever transport becomes cheaper and more convenient, the demand for it increases. In economic terms, the societal benefit of an increase in travel demand is the increase in consumer surplus associated with it. However, as noted, an increase in travel demand increases the external impacts of travel in terms of congestion, accidents and pollution. Estimates of impacts made in LEVITATE suggest that even if there is an increase in traffic volume, there will still be a net gain in travel time, a reduction of accidents and a reduction of pollution. While the reductions are smaller than they would have been without increased traffic volume, they are not eliminated. Thus, all potential impacts remain favourable. In view of this, it is unlikely that policy makers will introduce controversial and often unpopular measures like road pricing or parking restrictions to curb the growth of traffic.

It is concluded that, at the current state of knowledge, it is predicted that connected and automated vehicles will lead to increased travel demand, but nevertheless reduce travel time, make travel time less wasteful, reduce accidents and reduce pollution, including global warming.

Read the whole paper, written by Rune Elvik »

ARCADE: workshop on data sharing for automated driving

ARCADE is a project whose mission is to network with all the vehicle automation projects. LEVITATE has already established a dialogue with ARCADE partners about impact assessment methodologies.

On February 25th, ARCADE organises an online workshop on the topic of data sharing in the CCAM area. ARCADE is a H2020 Coordination and Support Action. Data sharing is one of its topics. In the CAD knowledge base, ARCADE collected material for data sharing.

For cost-effective evaluation of CCAM and for comparability of automated driving research studies, data sharing is essential. If not, costly parallel work on data collection remains common practice. For training of AI, large data sets are needed as well. Many hurdles for data sharing exist, starting from data sensitivity, security, data formats and descriptions, to privacy (GDPR). Today’s working-from-home practice has quickly enabled some remote access facilities.

In this workshop, we will identify bottlenecks and promising approaches for data sharing. The morning session is a broader webinar presenting today’s status, experiences and challenges. The afternoon expert workshop features three break-out sessions where we work on defining boundary conditions and next steps following promising approaches. It is possible to register for morning or afternoon only.

The break-out sessions are:

  1. Principles for industry data sharing
    What principles can we agree upon for enabling data sharing in industrial and research projects? Under what conditions is sharing possible? After an introduction of an international multi-partner project, we will work on promising approaches.
  2. In-vehicle data selection and analysis
    Data is generated in vehicles for research and development. This could lead to difficulties in managing large amounts of data, governing and protecting IP rights, and privacy issues. What if the data could be processed in-vehicle and only a reduced dataset is sent back-office, after data is pseudonized and reduced in size? This workshop will discuss how can we reach this state and what are the steps needed.
  3. GDPR in practice
    What practical privacy challenges do researchers and developers face in order to collaborate and share personal data? We will discuss examples of the type of problems which may be encountered, examining how (and if) they may be overcome.

You can register here »

Automated freight transport

In this WP7 article, we focus on some logistic concepts enabled by connected automated transport systems (CATS) and what disruptive changes we can expect from them. Freight transport is one of the three use cases in the LEVITATE project, beside urban transport and passenger cars. The overall goal is:

  • to identify how each area of impact (safety, environment, economy and society) will be affected by the introduction and transition of CATS in freight transport,
  • to assess its impacts, benefits and costs,•to test interactions of the examined impactsof freight transport, and
  • to prioritise considerations for a public policy support tool to help authority decisions.

Have a look at the whole article, written by: Bin Hu (AIT), Maria-Cellen Sawas (AIT), Melitta Dragaschnig (AIT), Clovis Seragiotto (AIT) and Marian Ralbovsky (AIT).

Passenger Cars Microsimulation Sub-use Cases Findings

The Work Package 6 (WP6) of LEVITATE considers the specific case of passenger cars which are used across the transport system so forecasting of impact will consider the use on urban, rural and highway infrastructure. Work undertaken in WP6 is based on the methodology developed in WP3 and the scenarios developed in WP4 to identify and test specific scenarios regarding the impacts of CATS on passenger cars. Findings will complement those of WP5 (Urban transport) and WP7 (Freight transport) and feed into the developing of the LEVITATE Policy Support Tool (PST) in WP8. The aim of this WP6 is to forecast short-, medium- and, long-term impacts of automated passenger cars on safety, mobility, environment, economy and society. The objectives of the WP6 are set as follow:

  • To identify how each area of impact (safety, environment, economy and society) will be affected by the transition of passenger cars into connected and automated transport systems (CATS). Impacts on traffic will be considered cross-cutting across the other dimensions,
  • To assess the short-, medium- and long-term impacts, benefits and costs of cooperative and automated driving systems for passenger cars,
  • To test interactions of the examined impacts in passenger cars, and
  • To prioritise considerations for a public toolkit to help authority decisions.

According to Deliverable 3.1, a taxonomy of potential impacts of connected and automated transport systems (CATS) at different levels of implementation can be classified into three distinct categories: direct impacts refer to the operation of connected and automated transport systems by each user; systemic impacts are system-wide impacts on transport; and wider impacts are societal impacts resulting from changes in the transport system such as accessibility and cost of transport, and impacts like accidents and pollution and changes in land use and employment. In order to estimate and forecast these impacts, appropriate assessment methods have been proposed in LEVITATE such as traffic mesoscopic simulation, traffic microsimulation, system dynamics, Backcasting and Delphi panel method.

A stakeholder reference group workshop was conducted to gather views from city administrators and industry on the future of CATS and possible uses (i.e. use cases) of automated passenger cars, named, sub-use cases. Workshop participants suggested a few new use cases for passenger cars. Those include specific detailed parking related sub-use cases and in-vehicle signage. It was emphasised that in order to have a better future of AVs, parking issues would need to be solved. Within WP6, five sub-use cases have been defined as follows:

  • Road use pricing:
    1. Empty km pricing
    2. Static toll on all vehicles
    3. Dynamic toll on all vehicles
  • Automated ride sharing
  • Parking space regulation:
    1. Parking price
    2. Replace on-street parking with public space
    3. Replace on-street parking with driving lanes
    4. Replace on-street parking with pick-up/drop-off parking
  • Provision of dedicated lanes for AVs on urban highways, and
  • Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA).

This article will be focused on the initial findings by applying the traffic microsimulation for sub-use cases, specifically the initial findings of the provision of dedicated lanes for AVs on urban highways and parking price. It noted that all autonomous vehicles are electric and that they used two main driving profiles (Roussou et al., 2019):

  • Cautious: long clearance in car-following, long anticipation distance for lane selection, long clearance in gap acceptance in lane changing, limited overtaking, no cooperation, long gaps, and
  • Aggressive: short clearance in car-following, short anticipation distance for lane selection, short clearance in gap acceptance in lane changing, limited overtaking, no cooperation, small gaps.

Have a look at the whole article, written by Hua Sha (LOUGH), Hitesh Boghani (LOUGH), Amna Chaudhry (LOUGH), Mohammed Quddus (LOUGH), Andrew Morris (LOUGH), Pete Thomas (LOUGH).

FABULOS Final Conference

The FABULOS consortium warmly invites cities, public transport authorities and operators, road authorities, mobility and robotics specialists from around the world to join the online Final Conference on 18 February.

They would like to share their results and lessons with you. Via a pre-commercial procurement, six cities worked together with three commercial consortia to bring automated shared mobility in Europe a big step further. As a result of this R&D project, a proof-of-concept for the management of autonomous fleets as part of the public transportation is now available. Therefore, the FABULOS Final conference offers a unique opportunity to hear about the state of the art in autonomous shared mobility.

During the Final Conference we will dive deeper into the three different prototype solutions from our Norwegian, Estonian and Finnish consortia.  The experiences from the FABULOS cities will also play a prime role. Other key themes are driverless shuttles as part of public transport, innovation procurement, regulatory aspects and technical lessons learned on turnkey robot bus solutions, including the remote operations of such a fleet.

Final programme & registration »

 

 

 

Planning for automated vehicles

The session ‘Planning for automated vehicles’ was part of the POLIS Conference 2020, which took place online from 30 November to 3 December. How can cities prepare for automation or should automation prepare for cities? With a focus on policy, planning and capacity-building. The session was chaired by Anna Clark from EIT Urban Mobility.

Presentations and contributors:

  • Automated vehicles in Dutch cities: 3 actions you can do now to prepare yourself: Richard van der Wulp, City of Rotterdam
  • Roadmap towards automation of EMT buses: SHOW and AUTO-BUS Sergio Fernández Balaguer, EMT Madrid
  • Autonomous Vehicles: Stakeholder engagement and urban planning: Richard Laing, Robert Gordon University
  • Building the capacity of cities to plan for automation – The Co-Exist automation-ready framework: Wolfgang Backhaus, Rupprecht Consult
  • Supporting policy making and planning for automated vehicles – the LEVITATE policy support tool: Apostolos Ziakopoulos, National Transport University of Athens

Anna concludes the session as follows: “Planning is a very important part of ensuring that we get the outcomes and impacts that we want, so based on the city policy goals. Public policy is going to be what determines this, rather than just the vehicle techinolgy, but they do go hand in hand.”

The session was recorded and can be viewed below:

Automated urban transport simulation in Athens

The main objective of Work Package 5  of the LEVITATE project is to identify how the introduction of Connected and Automated Systems (CATS) in several urban transport operations will affect different impact areas, with a focus on the transition towards higher levels of automation. This is a process that includes the following main steps:

  • identification of impacts relevant to connected and automated urban transport;
  • identification of urban transport related interventions, through a stakeholder reference group workshop and an extensive literature review;
  • identification of impact assessment methods for the different impacts and interventions;
  • short, medium and long-term impact assessment;
  • synthesis of results and implications for policy.

To read about these steps and results of the traffic simulations in Athens, have a look at our paper written by Julia Roussou (NTUA), Maria Oikonomou (NTUA), Apostolos Ziakopoulos (NTUA), George Yannis (NTUA).