Mission to SPACE completed: UITP’s automated vehicles project draws to a close
UITP's mission to SPACE has been completed!
- 5 October 2021
Ruter believes that shared autonomous mobility will play an important part of the future transportation system. We therefore want to be in front of the development to learn and utilize the technology advances in this area.
Route 35 operated along Akershusstranda (from town hall square to Vippetangen) in the centre of Oslo, and covered an area of Oslo that had no previous public transport coverage. The vehicles operated on a fixed schedule/route. The route covered regular roads with mixed traffic and separate cycle lanes, regular private road without cycle lanes, a shared space with cars, pedestrians and cyclists as well as the town hall square. The main cycle route east-west in Oslo goes in parallel with where the route operated. There is also a cruise terminal with frequent arrivals of big ships carrying up to 4000 passengers along the route. There were three stops on the route, and the shuttles were driving at a maximum of 18 km/h.
There is not any other public transport coverage in the area that was covered by route 35. As such the bus line enabled mobility for people in this area and was also intended to attract visitors to Vippetangen (which was a targeted development area by the municipality). The area is located in the city centre of Oslo and has high visibility at the same time as attracting lots of people.
The purpose of the project was to explore how an automated vehicle can play part in the overall public transport network, how passengers, pedestrians, and in particular cyclists, interact with the vehicles and how vehicle copes with large groups of people when the big cruise ships arrive. At the same time focus is on developing competencies and processes within participating organizations to enable stable operation over time and to enable new, more complex projects in the months/years to come.
AV testing is enabled through a separate legislation and is obtained through a special permit from the Directorate of Public Roads.
There is extremely high activity level in the area, both in terms of pedestrians/cyclists, large buses in relation to cruise traffic, and through several events and construction activities.
The project ended in October 2019. The service was launched late May with two vehicles, named Mads and Oda. In late August two more vehicles, Selma and Yonas, were added to the service. During the five months of operation as much as 22 000 people travelled with the shuttles, despite the service being temporarily halted in periods due to local events and road construction. The number of passengers normally ranged from 200-400 passengers per day, and the vehicles travelled about 40 km each per day. The customer satisfaction was high, and no serious accidents occurred.
Reports are under development.
The Institute of Transport Economics is evaluating the vehicle to cyclist interaction in particular and will prepare an overall report/presentation on this available later in the project.
• Cooperation with the Institute of Transport Economics (TØI): The testing of self-driving vehicles is carried out in close collaboration with the Institute of Transport Economics (TØI) in several arenas, including through the Autobus project, where TØI studies customer behavior and interaction in traffic from a self-driving perspective. The tests are also used in the research work TØI carries out in connection with Drive to the Future. The Drive2TheFuture project aims to prepare drivers, travelers and vehicle operators for the future to create acceptance for autonomous means of transport. In this pilot TØI studied the vehicles on route with video recordings, and in particular the interaction with cyclists on the route. Reports are under development
• SmartFeeder: The SmartFeeder project aim to identify challenges and gain experience from the best services in various self-driving pilot projects in Norway. The project is partly financed by the Norwegian Research Council through “Transport 2025”. Co-pilots are ForusShuttle, OBOS at Fornebu, Kongsberg Test Arena, Gjøvik and Ruter.
• The project is financed by Climate funds. Read more about the project and the report here.
UITP's mission to SPACE has been completed!
The SPACE Final Conference will take place on 30 September.
7 words explained
Also known as flocking. A collection of (automated) vehicles that travel together, actively coordinated in formation. Platoons decrease the distances between vehicles using electronic, and possibly mechanical, coupling. Platooning allows many vehicles to accelerate or brake simultaneously.
High density environment with an efficient high capacity public transport system with good capillarity and high frequencies.
Medium density environment with a good public transport system with radial connections to the city center, but lower capillarity and frequencies. This setting includes suburban cities.
Small, isolated city with an own public transport system and <100K inhabitants.
Low-density environment, small cities and villages with poor public transport services mainly connecting the villages.
The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) levels define the level of vehicle autonomy, or in other words, how much human intervention is still needed for an automated vehicle to operate. Currently, five SAE levels have been defined: Level 0: Automated system issues warnings and may momentarily intervene but has no sustained vehicle control. Level 1 (hands on): Driver and automatic system share vehicle control. The driver must be ready to retake full control at any time. Level 2 (hands off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 3 (eyes off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 4 (mind off): As level 3, but no driver attention is ever required for safety, e.g. the driver may safely go to sleep or leave the driver's seat. Level 5 (steering wheel optional): No human intervention is required at all. An example would be a robotic taxi.
Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is the passing of information from a vehicle to any entity that may affect the vehicle, and vice versa.