The research and promotion of user-centred and more sustainable mobility through autonomous vehicles are the core objectives of the EU-funded ULTIMO HORIZON EUROPE project.
In early October 2022, the first phase of the project started, involving renowned partners from the fields of transport, vehicle manufacturing, science and research, politics and technology. They all share a holistic goal of developing autonomous public transport services that can be integrated into the existing infrastructure to move people in a resource-efficient, inclusive and cost-effective way. At the core of these efforts is that the services are on-demand, bundle as many people as possible per trip and are scalable.
Padam Mobility has already been involved in the predecessor project AVENUE (Autonomous Vehicles to Evolve to a New Urban Experience), which ended in October 2022. As a specialist in the field of on-demand transport, Padam Mobility was selected as the technology provider for the autonomous DRT service OL Vallée operated by Keolis. With the interfaces provided by Padam Mobility, it was possible for users of the autonomous driving service to order a shuttle bus via app and track its progress in real-time as well as validating their pick-up by means of an advanced QR code system.
Following the successful completion of the AVENUE project, ULTIMO is the next important step towards integrating autonomous on-demand services more firmly into the public transport system.
The entire project period will span over four years and will be backed by 40 million euros, with the European Union contributing a share of 24 million euros and Switzerland 16 million euros.
Initially, three areas located in the region of Oberfranken (Germany), Oslo (Norway) and Geneva (Switzerland) have been identified as suitable test environments. In each of these areas, the ULTIMO partners will test autonomously driving on-demand transport and thus contribute to the advancement of the technology.
Autonomously driving public transport offers decisive advantages that have the potential to minimise existing challenges. These include traffic safety, saving resources and environmentally friendly operations. All these factors qualify on-demand AV as a promising future form of public transportation.
In about a week, on 29 November 2022, all project partners will gather in Brussels to officially launch the ULTIMO project. In addition, Padam Mobility will be present at the POLIS conference in Brussels the following day and is looking forward to presenting the project in more detail to interested visitors.
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