Autonomous vehicles promise to be the next revolution in public transport. They should find their first users in suburban areas, which are less well served by traditional transportation networks. But for these new services to develop, we must first identify the needs and motivations of their future users and be able to respond to them, meet many of the technological and regulatory challenges, and design new business models. This is the aim of the 4 year AVENUE project consortium, led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE) with a total budget of 22 million euros and funded by the European Commission up to the level of 16 million euros.
The AVENUE project consortium, for "Autonomous Vehicles to Evolve to a New Urban Experience," brings together 16 partners: academic institutions, public transport operators, autonomous vehicle manufacturers, major technology R&D companies and specialized start-ups. Among them, five Swiss; alongside the UNIGE, the Transports publics genevois (tpg) and the State of Geneva, two start-ups are indeed involved, MobileThinking, resulting from the UNIGE and BestMile, created at EPFL.
The first theme addresses security, fluidity of traffic and ability to adapt to exceptional road situations. At first, it will be studied only in limited areas, whose environment has been previously fully mapped.
Optimization of itineraries
The second theme will optimize the vehicles itineraries in a perspective of cost reduction and user comfort. Passengers will be able to book their trip from their smartphone, via a simple and user-friendly application, offering different levels of services.
in- and out- of vehicle services
The third theme will focus on in and out of vehicle services, such as augmented reality solutions on vehicle windows, as well as assistance to meet special needs' and less autonomous passengers, such as children or seniors.
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