A major milestone for automated vehicles (AVs) was reached last week with the launch of the SHOW (SHared automation Operating models for Worldwide adoption) project. Coordinated by UITP, SHOW brings together 69 partners from 13 EU countries to support the deployment of shared, connected and electrified automation in urban transport across a four-year period.
SHOW is the biggest ever project piloting AVs in urban environments, with over 20 cities hosting demonstrations. The project has a budget of €36 million.
The arrival of AVs represents a unique opportunity for a fundamental change in urban mobility. That is, when AVs are integrated into an integrated public transport network. If AVs are put to use in shared fleets, they could dramatically reduce the number of cars on the road by reaching people and places it was too difficult to before, plugging first/last-mile gaps and feeding into public transport trunk lines.
With exactly this in mind, in 2018 UITP launched the SPACE project, which joins over 55 UITP members to place public transport at the centre of the AV revolution.
Now, SHOW aims to further support the transition towards seamless and safe sustainable mobility by promoting automated transport. The H2020 project will look at different aspects of AVs and how they can best contribute to sustainable mobility: for example, how can we guarantee that users will accept the arrival of AVs? What are the legal, operational and ethical limitations of AVs? And what are viable business models regarding AVs?
These (and many other!) questions will be answered through setting up demonstration fleets in urban and peri-urban traffic environments. SHOW will see real-life urban demonstrations taking place in 20 cities across Europe, in which – alongside transport – other industries such as telecom and IT will be involved. And SHOW goes beyond EU-borders, as twinning actions are planned with 11 organisations from the US, South Korea, Australia, China, Taiwan and Singapore.
“The integration of AVs in public transport networks can be considered as one of the biggest game-changers in urban mobility today,” said Umberto Guida, Senior Director of K&I at UITP. “As the largest project on automated transport ever funded by the European Commission, the launch of SHOW marks a very important moment for UITP and our members. We are very proud to have gathered the greatest European knowledge to make seamless and integrated urban mobility through automated fleets a reality.”
UITP has led the way on autonomous vehicles, with the release of the Policy Brief “Autonomous Vehicles: a potential game changer for urban mobility” in January 2017 setting out the strength, opportunities and weaknesses of AVs as the debate began to take shape.
The SHOW project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 875530