This professorship and research group sponsorship project aims at strengthening the competitiveness and knowledge building in the field of “digitalisation and automation in the transport and mobility system” to support a sustainable development of these new technologies and services in their respective regions.
The professorship and its research group will carry out research of the user needs and societal impacts for digitalised and automated mobility as a crucial factor influencing the market penetration of these technologies. Building on this knowledge, the group shall develop and adapt existing planning methods and models that enable the development and assessment of policy measures and developments in digitisation and automation. These form the basis for recommendations for solutions to set framework conditions for digital and automated mobility that ensure the achievement of sustainability goals.
With the expected outputs of this project includes (1) Creating of a knowledge base through a holistic analysis of expected impacts, (2) Development of new methods or models for the analysis of transport policy and mobility management measures, and (3) Evaluations of proposed solutions to set framework conditions towards sustainable development.
The work will cover urban and rural areas. It will starts from users’ perspectives and needs, and will be extended to system (environment and societal) level analysis, higher level of policy making level processes and stakeholders interactions.
The European Automated Driving Roadmap (ERTRAC – European Road transport Advisory Council, 2017) defines a development path for Automated Urban Mobility Systems such as Automated Shuttles, beside paths for Automated Passenger Cars and Automated Freight Vehicles. Automated Shuttles should play a key role as on-demand feeder to intermodal transport hubs or as on-demand shuttles for regional personal transport systems (use case “New Flexibility” in the Austrian Action Plan for Automated Driving). Despite enormous technical progress over the last years, current tests on open roads show that automated shuttles have only reached automated driving level 2 (“Partial Automation”) or in the best case level 3 (“Conditional Automation”) following the international SAE J3016 classification. Worldwide, more and more tests on open roads are conducted or planned, however, there is a lack of projects targeting the systematic development of automated shuttles towards higher automation levels.
The Austrian flagship project “Digibus Austria” pursues the goal, to research and test methods, technologies and models for proofing a reliable and traffic-safe operation of automated shuttles on open roads in mixed traffic in a regional driving environment on automated driving level 3 (“Conditional Automation”) and creating foundations for automation level 4 (“High Automation”). Expected results address the following fields: (1) Driving environment and digital infrastructure (assessment and configuration of the driving environment, (partly) automated toolchain for generating the digital driving environment as well as the driving path, robust and reliable connectivity and positioning), (2) driving scenarios and interaction with other traffic participants (traffic-safe completion of typical driving scenarios in mixed traffic, concepts for traffic-safe interaction with other traffic participants) and (3) automated mobility system and passenger interaction during driverless operation (intermodal mobility system integration, voice and video-based interaction for passengers during driverless operation). All methods, technologies and models are tested on a non-public test track (Driving Center Teesdorf or Salzburg Ring) as well as on two public, regional test tracks (Salzburg Koppl and Wiener Neustadt, Federal State Exhibition 2019 of Lower Austria) including 100 test persons as well as up to 10.000 passengers. The results will lay the foundation for an Austrian Reference Model for real-world testing and operation of autonomous shuttles in regional public transport systems. Direct expected impacts are: 16 follow-up projects in Austria with a volume of EUR 7.5M, EUR 37M international market potential as well as 600.000 passengers during the first three years after the project. The flagship project Digibus Austria, with a runtime of 3 years, coordinated by Salzburg Research, is conducted by a top-class consortium of leading enterprises (Kapsch TrafficCom, ÖBB Holding, PRISMA solutions, Commend, Fluidtime, HERRY Consult, EasyMile) and research institutes (Virtual Vehicle Competence Center, Austrian Institute of Technology, University of Salzburg – Center for Human Computer Interaction, University of Natural Resources Vienna – Institute for Transport Studies, Factum) along the complete value chain from vehicle manufacturers to mobility service providers.
Integrated mobility solutions contribute significantly to achieving social, ecological and economic goals. ULTIMOB pursues an innovative and comprehensive approach that enhances the usability of the transport system and promotes sustainable mobility behaviour by creating new mobility services and encouraging users to switch to environmentally friendly and health-promoting modes of transport. This supports both the reduction of resource consumption (energy, space, etc.) and other negartive environmental and social impacts associated with transport. On the basis of wide-ranging pilot applications and the high visibility and transferability of the project results, the project ULTIMOB further strengthens Austria's position in the international mobility-relevant innovation system. The consideration of relevant stakeholder considerations (users, operators, public administration, etc.) and the development of suitable business models for the mobility solutions developed in ULTIMOB improves both the competitiveness of the transport sector as a whole and the relative positioning of sustainable mobility modes.
The approach in the ULTIMOB flagship project is based on two pillars: (1) the development of the ULTIMOB framework process at the interface of technology, user behavior and governance; and (2) the implementation of real mobility solutions in four ULTIMOB pilot regions.
At the next consumer wxpenditure survey (2019/20), the Institute for Transport will be cooperating with Statistik Austria to gather information on time use and travel behaviour over one week in a sample of about 1000 persons in addition to consumer expenditures. As part of the survey, the activity level of the individuals is also recorded in detail. For this purpose, the diary and the personal questionnaire will be adapted accordingly.
Autonomous vehicle (AV) trials are currently taking place worldwide and Europe has a key role in the development of relevant technology. Yet, very limited research exists regarding the wider implications of the deployment of such vehicles on existing road infrastructure, since it is unclear if and when the transition period will start and conclude.
It is anticipated that improved accessibility and road safety will constitute the primary benefits of the widespread use of AVs, whilst co-benefits may also include reduced energy consumption, improved air quality or better use of urban space. Therefore, the focus of this COST Action is on observed and anticipated future mobility trends and implications on travel behaviour, namely car sharing, travel time use or residential location choice to name a few. Other important issues to be explored under different deployment scenarios are social, ethical, institutional and business impacts.
To achieve this, it is essential to culminate co-operation between a wide range of stakeholders at a local, national and international level, including academics and practitioners. Consequently, this COST Action will facilitate collaboration within Europe and beyond about this emerging topic of global interest.