Aims of the project:

European cities face four main mobility problems: congestion, land use, safety and environment. One of the main causes of such problems is the car-ownership rate. The centres of large cities address this issue combining efficient mass transits with car restriction policies but peripheral areas and smaller cities remain dominated by private cars. CityMobil has demonstrated how automating road vehicles can lead to different transport concepts, from partly automated car-share schemes through CyberCars and PRT, to BRT which can make urban mobility more sustainable.

However CityMobil has also highlighted three main barriers to the deployment of automated road vehicles: the implementation framework, the legal framework and the unknown wider economic effect.

The CityMobil2 goal is to address the above main barriers highlighted by CityMobil and finally to remove them. To ease the implementation process CityMobil2 will remove the uncertainties which presently hamper procurement and implementation of automated systems.

In this respect, the CITYMOBIL2 project therefore focused not on making vehicles more intelligent, but rather on taking a holistic view of the entire transport system in order to demonstrate that the system as a whole is failsafe

The main benefits of road automation will be obtained when cars will drive themselves with or without passengers on-board and on any kind of roads, especially in urban areas. This will allow the creation of new transport services—forms of shared mobility, which will enable seamless mobility from door to door without the need of owning a vehicle. To enable this vision, vehicles will not just need to become “autonomous” when automated; they will need to become part of an Automated Road Transport System (ARTS).

The CityMobil2 mission was progressing toward this vision defining and demonstrating the legal and technical frameworks necessary to enable ARTS on the roads.

CityMobil2 is an EC funded project, which aims at fostering the implementation of ARTS in European cities. ARTS are road transport systems based on fully automated (no driver seat—no steering wheel) vehicles, which have a prior knowledge of the infrastructure they use, and which is certified with them. ARTS vehicles are not autonomous but constantly supervised and managed by a supervisory system under the control of a human operator.

The CityMobil2 general objectives include the organization of groundbreaking demonstrations of ARTS in 7 European cities; the study of long term socio-economic impact of automating mobility; and the definition of a legal framework which will finally allow ARTS on urban roads.

CityMobil2 work plan was organised in two phases. In the first phase, the study phase, 12 cities studied ARTS insertion in their sites and prepared proposals to host a demonstration. At the same time the research team prepared the technical specifications for the ARTS fleets to be used in the Project demonstrations. The five ARTS manufacturer partners in the consortium prepared their bids on the basis of such specifications. Two fleets of 6 10-passenger vehicles each were selected.

During the second phase, the demonstration phase, two procured fleets (from project partners Robosoft and EasyMile respectively) were brought in the 7 selected cities for variable periods to supply real transport services.

The selected demonstrations are

  • Oristano, in Sardinia (Italy), July and August 2014
  • La Rochelle, France, from October 2014 to April 2015
  • Lausanne, Switzerland, from October 2014 to April 2015
  • Vantaa, Finland, in July and August 2015
  • Trikala (Greece)— from August 2015 to February 2016
  • Sophia Antipolis (France) from March to May 2016 and
  • San Sebastian (Spain) in from April to July 2016.

CityMobil2’s workpackages 18, 25, 26, and 27 respectively: studied the impact of these systems on passengers and other road users and assessed their reactions and how to improve the technology and its urban integration to satisfy the “human factor”; evaluated the demonstrations and cross-compared results; defined a certification methodology and proposed a legal framework; and forecasted long term impacts.

Key challenges and how were these overcome:

  • The challenge is finding suitable technology providers, and what we tried to do in this project was use off-the-shelf technology as much as possible. The focus should really be on rethinking the entire transport infrastructure, and thinking about the way we manage it so that it can be used safely by different users at different speeds.
  • A key project challenge was bringing vehicles onto the streets in seven different countries that operate under seven different legal frameworks. ‘We had a great experience in Trikala, Greece, where a special law was enacted in time for us to operate a fully automated bus,’ says the Project Manager. ‘In other countries we worked closely with the ministries; in France for example, we were able to run automated buses as long as there was a person on board ready to take over. To transform these tests into real market products however, we need to go much further than that.’

Key success factors:

  1. Locate developers
  2. Integrate technologies
  3. Adjust the legal frameworks in the involved countries
  4. Prepare and Implement the urban testing beds and collect the input

Key learnings:

  • UDRIVE while we watch
    EU-funded researchers have conducted a large-scale naturalistic driving study to better understand road user behaviour and help make European roads safer.
  • Removing obstacles in automated transport’s road
    By focusing on legal and technical aspects concerning the entire road transport infrastructure, EU-funded researchers have been able to demonstrate the viability of automated vehicles.
  • Moving in the right direction for the protection of vulnerable road users
    After assessing 10 road safety innovations, the EU-funded VRUITS project identified what works best to increase the safety, mobility and comfort of vulnerable road users.
  • A smarter alternative to the crash test dummy
    EU-funded researchers have developed user-friendly tools to position and personalise advanced Human Body Models for use in designing safer vehicles.
  • Boost maritime transport resilience by learning from aeronautics
    EU-funded researchers have shown that methods used to address human factors and ensure high levels of safety within one form of transport can be effectively transferred to another.
  • Putting automated technologies in the driving
    EU-funded researchers have made significant progress in testing automated technologies that could make cars and other road vehicles much safe

Organisation: e-Trikala municipal company of the city of Trikala: partner of the EU funded project consortium.

Commissioning Agent: European Commission (Project ID: 314190 Funded under: FP7-TRANSPORT)

How long has the project been operational: Since 2017

How long the project took from concept approval to implementation: 5 years

How long has the project been operational: 4 years (9/1/2012 – 8/31/2016)

Total project cost: €15,814,936.88 (e-Trikala budget: €379,171)

Funding: EU Funds (FP7-TRANSPORT)

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