Mission to SPACE completed: UITP’s automated vehicles project draws to a close
UITP's mission to SPACE has been completed!
- 5 October 2021
The S3 Shared Shuttle Services is a pilot project running on two distinct routes. The first one serves the Chalmers University of Technology campus in Johanneberg while the second route consists of a first/last-mile parking shuttle between a suburban parking area and Lindholmen Science Park (the exact route still needs to be specified). The shuttle route for the Chalmers University of Technology campus is station-based with three stops on a fixed-route. It encounters mixed traffic on public streets (pedestrian crossings, construction sites, pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles).
The S3 pilot project of shared autonomous shuttle services seeks to demonstrate how developer-financed transportation solutions can spark and support dense urban growth with new, lower parking norms, as well as investigate new mobility options to strengthen mobility in Gothenburg and its surroundings. The objectives of this project are to evaluate the technology's potential, the public acceptance, the business model and to deliver tools and methods to replicate these services in the future. The project partners, who represent relevant public and private stakeholders, will also co-design a roadmap for the implementation and market development of autonomous mobility services.
The budget of the pilot is €926 008. It is financed by Drive Sweden (part of The Swedish Government's Innovation Partnership Program), Autonomous Mobility (Operator) and 14 other partners (public and private).
It is the Transport Agency that reviews the permission issues. The current legislation requires the existence of a physical driver inside or outside the vehicle: if the person who conducts a trial doesn’t have the right permission, they may get fined. One of the basic conditions for obtaining a license is to prove you can conduct the trials in a traffic-safe way. The Transport Agency will levy a fee to test a license to conduct self-driving vehicles.
Most challenges encountered are related to specifying the route due to heavy construction and changes taking place on the route itinerary. In addition to this, the shuttle experiences issues in identifying new objects nearby. For example, in spring, when trees and bushes started to sprout leaves and new branches, and grass started to grow on the shuttle path. This particular problem was fixed by re-mapping the area.
A few incidents occurred due to mechanical problems such as malfunctioning shock absorbers and a broken Lidar. These incidents led to stopping the operation for a certain period. The shuttle also experienced losses of signal (GPS/3g/4g/radio). These made the vehicle come to an automated stop through the software system. Since May 2018, 1 500 passengers have been transported and 1 200 km have been covered with an average operational speed of 11 km/h. The overall customer satisfaction has been high, with 9 out of 10 passengers satisfied (survey part of before/after questionnaire, including TAM/van der Laan acceptance scale attitudes). Regarding the vehicle reliability, its Technology Readiness Level is estimated at 8/10 (considering the suitable ODD use case).
Associated researches with the pilot include work packages on user acceptance, open innovation, business models and road maps.
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.