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Line 35, Kongens gate

Line 35, Kongens gate
Location
Oslo, Norway
Date
From to
Length
1.3km
Project details

What

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.

In November 2019, we put line 35 on pause when road construction work along Akershusstranda created a too unstable operating situation. The pilot was then decided to move to a new route from Vippetangen to Christiania torv. Moving the route also provided the project with opportunities for new valuable learning as the new route included light-regulated intersections and a different traffic environment than what we had experience with from other routes.

Why

An important aspect of Ruter's self-driving vehicle project is to explore how self-driving vehicles can and should interact with existing road infrastructure in the Oslo region.

We have much to learn about autonomous vehicle operation in complex traffic environments, such as traffic light intersections. We established route 35 from Vippetangen to Christiania Torv to study the communication between our autonomous shuttles and traffic lights in Oslo's inner-city streets. Our goal is to establish standardized solutions that can be transferred to other projects and adopted by other public transport operators, this way ensuring scalability to larger areas and fleets.

Regulatory Framework

AV testing is enabled through a separate legislation and is obtained through a special permit from the Directorate of Public Roads.

Challenges

• High activity level in the area, both in terms of pedestrians/cyclists, large buses in relation to cruise traffic, delivery of goods to restaurants in the area, parked cars and so on. • Approval and cyber security for V2X

Results & Evaluation

• During the 4 months of operation in Kongens gate from June until 2020, we had over 1500 passengers on board and drove more than 2600 km through three traffic lights, even though we had some restricted capacity on board due to COVID-19.

• The pilot section in Kongens gate started with self-driving through traffic lights without integration with the traffic lights and thus without information about the colour of the traffic light. The test quickly showed that the vehicles do not function acceptably in urban traffic without integration with infrastructure. The host therefore took over the driving manually during this part of the test. After installation of communication equipment in the vehicles, interaction with traffic and traffic lights became comparable to normal traffic. The obvious improvement points for the integration are the utilization of the length of the light signals and the adjustment of the vehicle's speed for better traffic flow. The simultaneous green light for pedestrians and vehicles also proved to be challenging for traffic flow.

• Due to the pilot's timeline, and extra security with the host in the vehicle, a communication solution (C-ITS) was chosen that was without sufficient cyber security. To learn what vulnerability this represented, an attack was carried out on the C-ITS solution in collaboration with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. The result from the test showed that the computer in the bus can be easily manipulated to drive on the red light signal and to stay on the green light signal. If sufficient security with certificates and signatures is used, such manipulation will be impossible. An unresolved issue is other noise sources that use the same frequencies used by the equipment. In such cases, the vehicle will not receive communication-based information from light control. Reports from V2X interaction is under development by TØI.

Associated Research

• 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 through the intersections with V2X. 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.

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Lexicon

7 words explained

platooning

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.

urban setting

High density environment with an efficient high capacity public transport system with good capillarity and high frequencies.

suburban setting

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 cities

Small, isolated city with an own public transport system and <100K inhabitants.

rural

Low-density environment, small cities and villages with poor public transport services mainly connecting the villages.

SAE level

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.

V2X

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is the passing of information from a vehicle to any entity that may affect the vehicle, and vice versa.