The new EU-funded Project, Ride2Autonomy, will promote automated shuttles' integration into public transport.
Combining the efforts of ten automated shuttle demonstrations, the recently awarded EU Project Ride2Autonomy will help to develop new passenger mobility concepts leading to healthier, safer, more accessible, sustainable, cost-effective and demand-responsive transport.
Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) will play a key role in future transport development. Yet, the exploitation of its promised benefits, and avoidance of potential negative impacts, largely depends on CCAM services being designed to strengthen public transport systems and effectively respond to user-need.
In this context, Ride-to-Autonomy will demonstrate autonomous shuttles' integration into the multimodal transport systems in ten EU cities:
· Differdange (LU): Steel industry city to test novel on-demand services to visitors of the Luxembourg Science Center;
· Charleroi (BE): Airport city aiming at connecting gates at the terminal building’s far ends, easing and hastening travellers’ passage;
· Aveiro (PT): Touristic city with schools, museums, and University, to develop a Tech City initiative linking railway station, city centre, hospital and University of Aveiro campus;
· Barcelona (ES): Automated shuttle bus at the Port of Barcelona;
· Inverness (UK): Capital of the Highlands with University and Business Park, to test shuttle service linking Inverness Campus and Retail and Business Park via a car-free route;
· Trikala (EL): Small touristic city with Christmas festival, to replace an existing uneconomic public transport bus line over a dedicated lane;
· Tartu (EE): Museum and University city to connect Estonian National Museum to the city centre on an otherwise challenging route;
· Reggio Emilia (IT): Mid-size Italian city to link its High-Speed Train Station with Max Mara fashion house;
· Tampere (FI): The most populated inland city in Nordic countries to develop public transport feeder service to novel tramline servicing a suburban area;
· Vianden (LU): Small village with a medieval castle, to test shuttle between the bus station to the castle, automated minibus.
The variety of approaches and contexts will allow the project to analyse the shuttles’ performance, their traffic and environmental impacts, safety, as well as its multimodal integration with the transport network. The individual and public response, as well as socio-economic potential, of the services, will also be evaluated.
Planning, acquiring and operating driverless shuttles present significant challenges for local authorities and stakeholders. To support such efforts, Ride2Autonomy will develop an implementation framework, including scalable and transferable models to facilitate the deployment of automated shuttle services into a smart urban mobility system, and guidelines for stakeholder & citizen engagement, and CCAM planning.
Ride2Autonomy aims at harmonising research and innovation efforts around automated shuttle solutions. To this end, besides collecting lessons learned from its pilot sites, it will pursue knowledge exchange and collaboration with other major shuttle demonstration projects, such as SHOW, FABULOS and ART FORUM, all of which are represented in the project consortium.
A Kick-off Meeting was held on the 6th and 7th of May 2021, initiating project activities and presenting all consortium partners. It will run from April 2021 to October 2022.
Ride2Autonomy receives funding from the European Union’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT), through its 2020 Work Programme under grant agreement No. LC – 01632937.
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