Increasing the safety of Connected Cooperative & Automated Mobility (CCAM) services for all users, including vulnerable road users, is one of the main objectives of the PoDIUM. The project aims to do this by advancing various technologies linked to the physical and digital infrastructure to boost the development of CCAM. In Spain, the PoDIUM Living Lab will demonstrate two specific use cases to reduce incidents and enhance traffic flows in Barcelona and on a cross-border highway.

The first use case focuses on vulnerable road user protection and the management of high-priority vehicles in Barcelona. The demonstration will take place on a 2.5 km stretch along Gran Via Avenue, a complex urban zone with heavy traffic, a firefighter corridor, public transport lines and pedestrian and bike lane crossings. Three scenarios will be explored to assess the optimal application of CCAM technologies to improve the efficiency of emergency vehicles, optimise traffic flows, and reduce the risk of accidents with vulnerable road users. A firefighting vehicle will be used to test a safety route where traffic lights are adjusted by the Traffic Management Centre to allow the vehicle to cross intersections without stopping, sending notifications to Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) to alert them that an emergency vehicle is approaching. Optimisation algorithms will be used to find effective strategies and alternative routes to improve traffic flows, minimise accidents and reduce congestion, based on real-time data from the CAVs. Artificial intelligence cameras will detect obstacles, assess risks, and issue warnings in the event of imminent danger to vehicles and vulnerable road users through the physical and digital infrastructure to improve safety at complex intersections.

In the second use case, the project partners will test a shuttle service for cross-border daily commuting and investigate incident mitigation measures for safer and more efficient highway traffic management. The border region between Le Boulou (France) and La Jonquera (Spain) on the E15 highway has been chosen for the demonstration of an automated shuttle that will transport users from a mobility hub on one side of the border to a mobility hub on the other side. The service will operate continuously during peak hours and on-demand during off-peak hours via a dedicated mobile app to minimise the presence of the shuttle on the road without passengers onboard. This use case will also explore new functionalities of CCAM services to address potential risks, such as incidents caused by other vehicles. Using data from traffic cameras, other vehicles, and third-party providers, the timely response and mitigation of risky scenarios will be evaluated to allow for real-time supervision and enable the deployment of fully autonomous shuttles without a security operator.

The pre-trial phase in the Living Lab is expected to begin between mid-2024 to early 2025, while the final demonstration will take place in June-July 2025.

“The advanced use cases of this Living Lab will address the safety aspect of CCAM services highlighting the potential of CCAM technologies to significantly reduce accidents caused by human errors, increasing the trust and acceptance of a widespread adoption in the future,” says Dr Nikolaos Tsampieris, Senior Manager and ERTICO lead in the project.

Discover more on the PoDIUM website.