The way connectivity is transforming how we plan and deliver mobility will be discussed in detail at this year’s ITS European Congress in Lisbon from 18-20 May.

Visitors to the event at the Lisbon Congress Centre will hear about several projects that are furthering the development of automated, cooperative, and connected mobility through ITS.  These subjects are core to the theme of the Congress, “ITS: The Game Changer” which will showcase how technology is delivering sustainable, safe and efficient mobility solutions.

One flagship project being undertaken by Congress organiser, ERTICO – ITS Europe, is CONCORDA, which is preparing European Motorways for platooning and highly automated driving by trialling hybrid communication systems on roads in five countries under real traffic conditions.

Eusebiu Catana, Senior Manager of Innovation and Development at ERTICO explains that this is creating knowledge which can be used in the short term: “Concorda will be available in June this year, so by the end of November it will be fully implemented and an established project across five different countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Holland and Spain.”  Details of this exciting trial will be shared in Lisbon.

Another project ERTICO  is working on which will be highlighted in Lisbon is SHOW, which is assisting cities to understand technical solutions and business models needed to support the migration to shared, connected and electrified fleets of vehicles.  “This project is helping us get a step further towards automation in Europe,” adds Catana. “It is extremely important, as this project will pave the way to bringing real products to the market.”

“Both projects can be used as showcases for any other member states and even from outside Europe – in Japan or the USA – to understand and exploit technology from the market perspective.”

Visitors to Lisbon will be able to experience two demonstrations showcasing the lessons learned from these projects.  Gold Congress Sponsor, CTAG, is showcasing a “last mile” electric autonomous shuttle that will take a circular route near the Tagus River with two stops to allow people to break during their journey.  The vehicle is connected using standardised V2X to improve performance and shares information with two sets of traffic lights on the route, meaning the vehicle will stop smoothly when necessary.  Visitors will also get to see the object detection technology which brings the vehicle to safe stop when sensors detect an object blocking its path.

Meanwhile 5G technology will be examined in the 5G- Mobix HD Maps use case demonstration, which focusses on the capability of automated vehicles and roadside infrastructure to detect changes in the road and HD map used for driving.  These changes are then sent to the traffic control centre which broadcasts this information to other road users This demonstration shows the new possibilities that 5G connectivity offers when delivering the safety features of an automated vehicle, such as when it needs to hand control back to a human driver or when the information is sufficient for it to continue to operate autonomously.

“The technological advances which take place in the time between Congresses are so impressive, it is vital that ITS professionals get to experience them on a regular basis,” commented Francisco Sanchez Pons, Electronics and ITS Director at CTAG.  “Only by attending events like the ITS European Congress can the industry’s experts really understand the benefits of all the project work being undertaken across the continent and how it will affect them and their customers in their working lives.  Things are moving so fast that the industry has to experience these demonstrations so they know they aren’t doing their planning and implementation based on knowledge they had a year ago, which is out of date now.”

Another ERTICO initiative on connectivity being showcased in Lisbon is C-MobILE, helping local authorities deploy cooperative ITS solutions which deliver safe and efficient transport for all road users.

“C-MobILE envisions a congestion-free, sustainable and economically viable mobility, minimising the environmental impact of road transport,” explains Giacomo Somma, Senior Manager in C-ITS and Urban Mobility at ERTICO.  “Specifically, the project will deploy a wide range of use cases having a strong uptake potential, such as Vulnerable Road Users’ safety at intersections, traffic light operation, eco-driving, traffic routing, goods delivery and parking for cross-modal integration.”

“Come and see us in Lisbon to learn about our project outcomes.  We will present and showcase technical and non-technical results, for instance, how C-MobILE is developing new business models for large-scale deployment or how the user can better benefit from various services bundled together in his own as well as other cities in a seamless way .”

As Giacomo Somma sums up, what people will learn about in Lisbon will make a huge difference to the future of transport.  “Cooperative ITS will resolve the conflict between the individual and the collective mobility needs.  It would be a win-win-win!  A win for the user who gets more efficiency, a win for the public authority which has to ensure sustainable transport and healthy, liveable cities, and a win for the market because those services have the potential to create a lot of new jobs and a lot of new business opportunities.”