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 City of Tempere has dedicated a test field to developing future connected and automated driving functions for certain situations as well as automated urban first/last-mile busses. Examples of such scenarios is VALET parking, intersection, passenger services and winter conditions. The infrastructures include ten Pre-5G base-stations, real urban roads, positioning services, maps and V2X equipped intersections. The routes are located in sub-urban Hervanta which is the Tampere region technology village. In 2022, a tramline between the city centre of Tampere and sub-urban Hervanta will be operational. The automated vehicles will serve to cover the first/last-mile distance for the passengers of the tram. There will be about five bus stops available along the route of the autonomous buses. The area is in operation and will regularly be updated according to facility owners and user needs. The area was created for multiple parallel projects looking for different aspects of automated driving needs.
The first aim of URBAN-CAD is to offer developers a place to adapt and validate their technology before entering it on the market. The second aim is to enable the creation of new AV functions which would boost the economic growth of the concerned companies. Finally, URBAN-CAD also aims to learn about future mobility needs of people. This research has started in restricted areas before deploying it on a wider scale.
So far, €1m has been collected through investments. Investments are about €200,000 per year. The main investor is the City of Tampere which has created the communication infrastructure within the area. VTT also has a significant role in facilitating automated driving platforms and some parts of the services.
The City of Tampere provides permits for road infrastructures. Automated driving licenses are administered by Traficom, the traffic safety authority in Finland.
One challenge encountered is automated driving during winter as the lane markings and curbs are not easily visible.
By 2021, the facility is expected to serve about 40-80 passengers per day with 2-4 automated last-mile busses connected to the tram line service. The total length of the different routes in the test field are about 30 km. AVs will not go over the maximum urban area speed which is 40 km/h. Currently, the speed of the pre-products is limited at 20 km/h. The facility is working on developing connected and automated driving functions to deal with particular challenges such as during the winter. Reliability is high over the summer but robustness needs to be improved during the winter.
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.