With 41 months of activities now carried out in CAD and ICT research since September 2018, the flagship project ICT4CART is coming to an end. In one of the last ICT4CART partner interviews, we as ERTICO are honoured to share our achievements as Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation Work Package Leader. With two ‘final’ events, technical newsletters, several scientific publications, read more about ICT4CART dissemination efforts!  

  • Meet ERTICO

ERTICO-ITS Europe is a public-private partnership of 120 companies and organisations working in and with Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Partners include public authorities (cities, regional and national road/transport authorities), service providers, the traffic and transport industry, suppliers, user organisations, mobile network operators, research institutions and universities, and vehicle manufacturers. The partnership works towards promoting and enhancing the benefits of ITS: zero fatalities, zero transport inefficiencies and towards eliminating road transport’s negative impact on the environment and its contribution to the climate crisis.

ERTICO Partnership develops, promotes and deploys intelligent mobility solutions with the aim that these solutions serve the needs of mobility users and enhance their quality of life. The ERTICO partnership’s work is delivered through various activities, including public-private ITS stakeholders’ cooperation on European co-funded projects, self-funded innovation platforms and other initiatives while also contributing to international cooperation. ERTICO-ITS Europe brings the wider ITS and smart mobility community together by organising annual ITS Congresses in Europe and abroad with the help of its counterparts, ITS America and ITS Asia-Pacific.

  • What is your role in the project?

ERTICO-ITS Europe is a contributor to several work packages (WPs) in the project, and the leader of WP9: Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation. Several ERTICO partners are part of the project team, with ICCS being the project coordinator. ERTICO’s partnership is at the forefront of ITS and smart mobility research and innovation activities within CCAM (Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility) in Europe, and participates in several major EU-funded projects (e.g. SHOW, 5G-MOBIX, 5G-DRIVE, ENSEMBLE, ARCADE, HEADSTART) and activities in the area, including the CCAM partnership established by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe Framework.

  • As part of ICT4CART, ERTICO worked on the implementation of Environment Perception Models (EPMs).  But, what exactly are EPMs and why are they important for ICT4CART?

As part of its contribution to WP5: Data and IT Services, the ERTICO team coordinated the work of several partners on Task 5.5: Environment Perception Models (EPMs), with Ulm University (UULM), LINKS and BOSCH being the main contributors. To explain what Environment Perception Models (EPMs) are, we first need to specify what exactly are the requirements for autonomous driving. In order to perform manoeuvres, Automated Vehicles (AVs) require deep knowledge of the environment in which they operate. EPMs provide the vehicle with the required environment information, such as information related to static and dynamic objects, road markings and traffic road signs. One of the main tasks of the automated driving function is to sense the environment to detect obstacles or provide information needed to make driving decisions. EPMs are used to collect the data from different heterogeneous sensors and transfer the sensed information to the vehicle in a meaningful way. For the ICT4CART project, EPMs are of paramount importance, as they provide necessary ‘sensing’ for the ecosystem created across the project’s tests sites in Germany (UULM), Italy (LINKS) and Austria (BOSCH).

  • From the communications and dissemination point of view, what were ICT4CART main achievements? 

These last two years have been especially challenging due to the pandemic, in particular regarding the dissemination of the project. As physical events were cancelled all over the world, activities that are usually carried out throughout the lifespan of a project to disseminate its goals and its results, such as participation in international conferences, had to be rescheduled or re-invented in an online format, which carries its own limitations. Given these circumstances, being able to host two ‘final’ events – a first physical event held during the ITS World Congress in Hamburg, and a second online event during the  2021 IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference –  has been one of the main achievements from the dissemination point of view. Especially, the physical event held during the ITS World Congress in Hamburg was particularly challenging. (Watch the ICT4CART final video!)

Those two closing events also brought great results in terms of scientific publications.

The paper “Spatial Positioning Token (SPToken) for Smart Parking” by Roman Overko, Rodrigo Ordonez-Hurtado, Sergiy Zhuk, Robert Shorte was released in relation to the first event was awarded “Best EMEA Research Paper of the ITSWC2021”. Additionally, another paper was published in the framework of ICT4CARTs final event (held at the 2021 IEEE Vehicular Networking Conference): “An Extension Proposal for the Collective Perception Service to Avoid Transformation Errors and Include Object Predictions” by Jan Strohbeck, Martin Herrmann, Johannes Müller, Michael Buchholz.

Recently the first of the two final ICT4CART Technical Newsletters has been published. The second one will be published in February. The newsletters disseminate the results gathered by the project in the four pilot sites: Germany, cross-border, Austria and Italy.

Last but not least, another communication activity that deserved attention is the interview series “Meet the ICT4CART partners”. Launched in the summer of 2019, one interview with one of the consortium’s partners has been published monthly on the project’s website and promoted through social media channels. This has given an opportunity for the public to get to know the different partners involved in the project and their roles.

Overall, despite being a few challenging years, the communication and dissemination efforts of ICT4CART have achieved: two closings ‘final’ events, two technical newsletters, 19 interviews with partners and numerous papers published.

  • From ERTICO’s perspective, what are the next steps in future research and development activities around connected and autonomous vehicle technology?

As mentioned previously, ERTICO is taking a keen interest in CCAM activities across Europe and globally, including active participation in the EU based CCAM partnership platform. More specifically, ERTICO is a lead of Cluster 7 (Coordination) and a co-lead of Cluster 4 (Integrating the Vehicle into the Transport System) within the partnership, and also one of the contributors for the CCAM SRIA (Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda). The Agenda and its key components, expressed through numerous calls within the Horizon Europe R&D programme, are well documented and worthwhile reading material to understand the steps undertaken by the connected and autonomous vehicles stakeholders in the advancement of the solutions for safe, sustainable and smart mobility in Europe and the world.

  • Anything else you would like to mention or highlight?

In its role as the Communication, Dissemination & Exploitation lead, and as the ITS World Congress Hamburg 2021 organiser, ERTICO-ITS Europe had an opportunity to invite the ICT4CART project to organise the Final Event within the Congress, thus bringing together the participants and visitors of the largest ITS event on the global scale to express interest and attend its milestone achievement happening. This was the first of hopefully many to come occasions, whereby a synergy of a large-scale event can be utilised to expand the dissemination opportunity for the EU funded projects. As a result, the Final Event was well attended and in the future, ERTICO-ITS Europe will work even harder to enable this particularity to become a regular feature at both ITS European and World Congresses respectively.