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TRIMIS

Towards Advanced Road Transport for the Urban Environment

CITYMOBIL

Towards Advanced Road Transport for the Urban Environment

Call for proposal: 
FP6-2005-TRANSPORT-4
Link to CORDIS:
Background & policy context: 

During the first discussions with the EU officials it already became clear that CITYMOBIL was not going to be an exclusive research and development project. A very important part of the project had to be aimed at demonstrations; showing stakeholders and the general public what automated transport is and how it can contribute to more sustainable future cities. Very soon it was decided that these demonstration activities should not be just temporary demonstrations, but rather implementations of automated systems; systems that would survive the lifetime of the project and that would continue to be operating and expanding long after the project had ended. During these first discussions the general goal of the project took shape: "To bring the implementation of automated transport systems in urban areas a major step forward."

This very general goal was described more specifically: "To achieve a more effective organisation of urban transport, resulting in a more rational use of motorised traffic with less congestion and pollution, safer driving, a higher quality of living and an enhanced integration with spatial development."

Objectives: 

The overall objective of the CITYMOBIL project was to achieve a more effective organisation of urban transport, resulting in a more rational use of motorised traffic with less congestion and pollution, safer driving, a higher quality of living and an enhanced integration with spatial development.

Specific objectives were:

  • Developing advanced concepts for advanced road vehicles for passengers and goods. Most of the earlier projects addressed isolated aspects of the mobility problems of cities, whereas CITYMOBIL focuses on the overall urban transportation problem.
  • Introducing new tools for managing urban transport. CITYMOBIL develops tools that can help cities to cross the thresholds that are preventing them from introducing innovative systems (e.g. the absence of certification procedures and the lack of suitable business models).
  • Taking away barriers that are in the way of large-scale introduction of automated systems. Some of these barriers are of a technological nature, some are of a legal or administrative nature (e.g. the legal requirement for vehicles using public roads where the driver is responsible for the vehicle at all times, which effectively prohibits driverless vehicles from using public roads).
  • Validating and demonstrating the concepts, methods and tools developed in CITYMOBIL in three European cities. These demonstrations (Heathrow, Rome and Castellón) are real implementations of innovative new concepts. In a number of other cities, studies are carried out to show that an automated transport system is not only feasible, but it also contributes to a sustainable solution for the city's mobility problems, now and in the future.

As a result, CITYMOBIL will contribute to innovative solutions that will allow increased mobility in a well-controlled manner, using technologies with low pollution, high safety levels and a much increased efficiency, using either a separate infrastructure or existing roads. In future mobility scenarios, such new transport systems will be part of the urban environment. These new transport systems will be the answer to the new mobility demands of the future society. The urban mobility will be greatly supported by new transport system concepts, which are able to improve the efficiency of road transport in dense areas while at the same time help to reach the zero accident target and minimise nuisances.

Methodology: 

The general project description was translated into concrete project objectives as follows:

  • The demonstration part aimed at three large scale implementations of advanced transport systems in cities. The main goal of these three implementations was to demonstrate that the technology was in such a state that implementations would be feasible. In addition there were a number of smaller events of a temporary nature like showcases, where automated vehicles are brought to a city to allow the public and the authorities to ride them and get a feeling for the possibilities of automated systems.
  • The research and development part also had a strong practical component. The main focus was on identifying barriers that were still in the way of large scale implementations of automated systems, and subsequently take them away or devise strategies for overcoming them in the future. The barriers could be of a technological nature, but also of other natures like political or societal. In short: anything that could disrupt or delay the advance of automated transport.

The above objectives and decisions led to the following concrete project components:

Subproject 1: Demonstration Activities

This subproject covers the CITYMOBIL activities related to the demonstrations, showcases and city studies. The demonstrations served as a laboratory for developing and evaluating solutions and as a source for identifying problems that can be addressed in the project.

  • Demonstration at Heathrow, United Kingdom
  • Demonstration in Rome, Italy  
  • Demonstration in Castellon, Spain
  • Small demonstrations
  • Showcases
  • City studies

Subproject 2: Future Scenarios

This subproject will investigate how automated road transport systems fit into the expected scenarios for advanced urban transport in the future, particularly analysing how they will contribute to sustainability. The various modes, based on the state of the art of today, that serve as a starting point for further research on advanced road transport are:

  • Cybercars
  • High-tech buses
  • Personal rapid transit
  • Advanced city cars
  • Duela mode vehicles

The point of view for transport demand and sustainable mobility standards will be respectively 2050, 2030 and 2015.

Subproject 3: Vehicles and Technological Issues

Subproject 3 addressed the technolo

Institution Type:
Institution Name: 
European Commission
Type of funding:
Key Results: 

A bi-dimensional matrix called 'Passenger Application Matrix' was developed to present the results of the evaluation of the various activities in CITYMOBIL. In this matrix the results have been grouped according to ten various trip origins and trip destinations: city centres, inner suburbs, outer suburbs, suburban centres, major transport nodes (such as airports, central stations), major parking lots, major educational or service facilities (e.g. university campuses, hospitals), major shopping facilities, major leisure facilities, for instance amusement parks and corridors.

Main Results Summary

  • The public appears to be generally interested in these novel forms of transport which could provide an alternative to the use of private automobiles. The effect of major or minor accidents with automated transport systems on public acceptance is still unknown.
  • One of the greatest challenges during the project was the realisation of the implementation and the demonstrations. It appears that a lot of hurdles must be taken from the moment a city has decided that they want to introduce a new transport system or a demonstration until the vehicles actually transport people through the city streets. The period of 5½ years that CITYMOBIL lasted was not enough to realise the plans in all cases. Especially during the implementation in Rome and a potential demonstration in Lausanne the difficulties were such that the plans could not be realised within the timeframe of the project. A period of 5 - 10 years seems to be a realistic time span that is needed from the time the decision is made until the system is operational.
  • It became clear that the presence of operational automated systems in other cities is a great stimulus for decision makers. To be the first one to implement a new and unknown transport solution requires a lot of courage and enthousiasm from the decision makers, especially when there are no examples that can be used to overcome hesitations from colleagues, authorities and the public.

Technical Implications

On the basis of the results of CITYMOBIL it is possible to draw some lines for the immediate future. The lessons learned, as presented above, make clear that in order to make a significant next step forward the following is needed:

  • More demonstration projects to convince stakeholders that automated transport solutions are a viable option.
  • A further development of the CITYMOBIL City Application Manual and other tools that can help decision makers to overcome hesitations and draw balanced conclusions on the pros and cons of automated transport systems.
  • An increased effort to come to generally accepted certification guidelines. This should take place on a European level and should result in clear and harmonised legislation that will define the precise conditions that will allow automated solutions in urban traffic.

Policy implications

Up until now the main efforts of European projects have been concentrated on technological research in order to assure the technical feasibility of advanced transportation systems. It is now time to forge ahead and address other topics in order to achieve the aimed goal: implementation and operation of urban automated transport vehicles. Recommendations with a wider scope of action must be fostered, in particular to establish a clear and solid framework focusing on the legal and homologation aspects of operation of automated vehicles in urban areas. As long as these points remain neglected, it will be difficult to complete the implementation and operation of a full working scheme.

Lead Organisation: 

Nederlands Organisation For Applied Scientific Research

Address: 
Schoemakerstraat 97
6060 DELFT
Netherlands
EU Contribution: 
€0
Partner Organisations: 

Etra Investigacion Y Desarrollo Sa

Address: 
Calle Tres Forques
46014 Valencia
Spain
EU Contribution: 
€0

University Of Leeds

Address: 
University Rd
Leeds
LS2 9JT
United Kingdom
EU Contribution: 
€0

C.r.f. Societa' Consortile Per Azioni

Address: 
Strada Torino 50
ORBASSANO (TO)
Italy
EU Contribution: 
€0

Institut National De Recherche En Informatique Et Automatique

Address: 
Domaine de Voluceau- Rocquencourt
B.P. 105 LE CHESNAY
France
EU Contribution: 
€0

Deutsches Zentrum Fr Luft Und Raumfahrt E.v

Address: 
Linder Hhe
12489 KLN
Germany
EU Contribution: 
€0

Robosoft

Address: 
Technopole Izarbel
64210 BIDART
France
EU Contribution: 
€0

University Of Southampton

Address: 
Highfield
Southampton
SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom
EU Contribution: 
€0

Centro Studi Sui Sistemi Di Trasporto

Address: 
Corso Re Umberto 30
10128 TORINO
Italy
EU Contribution: 
€0

Trw Limited

Address: 
Stratford Road
Solihull
B90 4AX
United Kingdom
EU Contribution: 
€0

Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen

Address: 
Templergraben
52062 Aachen
Germany
EU Contribution: 
€0

Department Of Mechanics And Aeronautics, University Of Rome "la Sapienza"

Address: 
Via Eudossiana, 18
00184 ROMA
Italy
EU Contribution: 
€0

Gea J-M. Vallotton Et T. Chanard Sa

Address: 
Rue de bourg 28
1001 LAUSANNE
Switzerland
EU Contribution: 
€0

Polis - Promotion Of Operational Links With Integrated Services, Association Internationale

Address: 
rue du Trône 98
1050 BRUXELLES
Belgium
EU Contribution: 
€0

Rups Consultancy & Projectmanagement B.v.

Address: 
Havenstraat 30-3115 HD
SCHIEDAM
Netherlands
EU Contribution: 
€0

Frog Navigation Systems B.v.

Address: 
Krommewetering 21
UTRECHT
Netherlands
EU Contribution: 
€0

Transport & Mobility Leuven

Address: 
Vital Decosterstraat 67A bus 0001
LEUVEN
Belgium
EU Contribution: 
€0

Istituto Di Studi Per L'integrazione Dei Sistemi

Address: 
VIA FLAMINIA, 21
ROME
Italy
EU Contribution: 
€0

Technion - Israel Institute Of Technology

Address: 
Senate Building Technion City
Haifa 32000
Israel
EU Contribution: 
€0

Regie Autonome Des Transports Parisiens

Address: 
54 Quai De La Rapee
75599 Paris
France
EU Contribution: 
€0
EU Contribution: 
€0

Ingegneria Dei Trasporti Srl

Address: 
via Cavour 256
ROMA
Italy
EU Contribution: 
€0

Generalitat Valenciana

Address: 
Direccion General de Transportes, Puertos y Costas. Avda. Blasco Ibanez, 50 5 planta.
VALENCIA
Spain
EU Contribution: 
€0

Fundación Comunidad Valenciana Región Europa

Address: 
PLAZA SAN NICOLAS, 2
VALENCIA
Spain
EU Contribution: 
€0

Uniresearch

Address: 
Elektronicaweg 16c
2628XG DELFT
Netherlands
EU Contribution: 
€0

Enq

Address: 
Poligono Industrial C/F Nr. 13
31192 MUTILVA BAJA (NAVARRA)
Spain
EU Contribution: 
€0

Stiftelsen Sintef

Address: 
Strindveien
7034 Trondheim
Norway
EU Contribution: 
€0

City Of Uppsala

Address: 
UPPSALA
Sweden
EU Contribution: 
€0

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne

Address: 
Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 LAUSANNE
Switzerland
EU Contribution: 
€0

Ultra Global Limited

Address: 
130 Aztec West
BRISTOL
United Kingdom
EU Contribution: 
€0

Atac - Agenzia Per I Trasporti Autoferrotramviari E La Mobilita Del Comune Di Roma

Address: 
Via Ostiense, 131/L
ROMA
Italy
EU Contribution: 
€0