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Autonomous on-Demand Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles in public road transport – a cutting-edge technology

AV in Lyon

The introduction of autonomous vehicles (AV) onto public roads is no longer a distant fantasy. The technology is very much in use in different contexts across the world. However, how it is applied and what it is used for has the potential to create very different futures. In this article, we look at the way on-demand autonomous vehicles could fundamentally revolutionise public transport to provide better services, with lower environmental impacts which optimise value for money.

Indeed, using autonomous vehicles to improve public transport provides a safer, well-regulated framework for allowing driverless vehicles on the public highway. In contrast, concerns about privately owned autonomous vehicles are growing, with questions around their safety, interaction with pedestrians and cyclists and indeed the potential for congestion caused by an increased number of low occupancy vehicles, however ‘smart’ they are.

Increased safety in road traffic

Safety is one of the most important concerns in public transport, and public transport operators have extremely high standards to ensure the safety of passengers and the general public. The testing and use of autonomous vehicles within this framework will promote the safety benefits of autonomous vehicles and enable the development of best practice more rapidly and effectively.

For example, a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute showed that autonomous vehicles have the potential to prevent up to 92% of accidents caused by human error.

Improved efficiency of public transport

By deploying autonomous vehicles on-demand as part of public transport, traffic flows can be managed more easily and public transport can be matched more closely to demand. A study by the Swedish transport authority Trafikverket found that autonomous buses in the city of Stockholm could reduce traffic by up to 80 per cent by reacting more flexibly to traffic situations and using roads more efficiently. This is supported by a McKinsey Global Institute study which found that autonomous shuttles can reduce private car use by 20 per cent and thus increase road transport capacity.

Environmental benefits

Autonomous vehicles work well within the electrification of transport, contributing to a reduced impact on the environment from public road passenger transport. Thanks to their intelligent routing, which leads to a reduction in congestion and traffic jams, the emission of harmful pollutants is further reduced. According to a study by the University of California, Berkeley, the use of autonomous vehicles in public transport could reduce emissions by up to 90 percent.

Cost savings

Autonomous vehicles do not require drivers, reducing costs for operators. This is particularly critical for services which are less intensively utilised but still needed to enable people to have access to public transport. According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, the use of autonomous vehicles in local public transport in Europe could save up to 30 percent of operating costs. Another study by the consulting firm Roland Berger shows that self-driving vehicles in local public transport could save up to 50 percent of operating costs by 2030. Whilst drivers may not be required, remote operators may still be needed to oversee the fleet.

Saving time and resources thanks to intelligent routing can also achieve a significant reduction in operating costs. On-demand services that use autonomous vehicles, can calculate exactly how many vehicles should be deployed at what time and how effective utilisation can be achieved, just like all DRT services from Padam Mobility, thanks to intelligent algorithms. This sustainable use of resources is a key factor in cost savings for public transport.

Improved services and inclusion

On-demand autonomous vehicles increase the availability of public mobility services. This is particularly important in remote areas where public transport is scarce. Autonomous vehicles in combination with on-demand services can offer a flexible alternative that is more accessible to many people than traditional public transport. This enables elderly people are no longer mobile, or young people who cannot drive themselves, to participate more in social life.

Autonomous vehicles can also improve mobility for people with reduced mobility. Through the use of barrier-free autonomous vehicles, elderly or mobility-impaired people are able to move around without having to rely on the help of others. On-demand AV services allow them to make more spontaneous decisions, which increases their independence.

Saving space

Autonomous on-demand services in public transport can play a significant role in optimising spatial usage. By using autonomous vehicles that operate on demand, public transport can be better matched to the actual demand. Unlike traditional public transport, which runs on fixed routes and schedules, autonomous on-demand services can respond flexibly to passenger demands. This can help increase the use of public transport by making it easier and more convenient to get from point A to point B. Ultimately, this can in turn help to reduce the number of private vehicles on the roads, which can lead to a reduction in traffic.

Autonomous on-demand services can therefore help to make public space more attractive, for example by reducing parking space and thus creating more space for pedestrian routes and recreational areas.

Public vs. Private?

The use of autonomous vehicles for public transport has the potential to help make public transport safer, more efficient, more environmentally friendly, more cost-effective and more inclusive.

However, the introduction of autonomous technology has provoked debate and raised concerns. There is a particular fear that the technology is not mature enough and that technical errors and accidents may occur. This seems to be very much the case where automotive manufacturers are racing to be first to market with consumer products to capture the mass market. However,  in a public transport context, the industry has a gold standard approach prioritising safety and enabling scrutiny within open regulatory frameworks. Indeed the safety culture of the rail and airline industry provides assurances that cannot be matched for people driving their own vehicles.

Likewise, the nature of driverless vehicles are likely to benefit transport operators who are reporting that is has become very difficult to recruit new bus drivers. It has become quite common that trips have to be cancelled due to a lack of staff. In areas that have problems finding staff, autonomous vehicles can be a remedy. This makes the technology an important tool in providing reliable and cost-effective mobility services that users can fully trust.

The transition to mainly autonomous driving in local public transport certainly brings hurdles and major challenges. However, the aspects of road safety and environmental protection are almost impossible to ignore. Only attractive public transport that is accessible and available will encourage people to switch to shared transport. On-demand autonomous vehicles, unlike human-driven vehicles, have the key advantages that can help public transport become the most popular means of mobility in the long term.

 

 

Learn more about Padam Mobility’s AV solutions

This article might also interest you: EU-funded ULTIMP project brings Padam Mobility on board as technology partner for new AV projects 

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Goodbye 2022 – a glance back at the past 12 months of Padam Mobility

Newly developed territories, service expansions, media coverage, relocation to a new HQ, new innovation areas, strong growth… A look back at an intense 2022 for Padam Mobility.

JANUARY

Orléans Métropole is extending its Résa’Tao DRT network to 4 new, redesigned zones, and a fleet of 39 vehicles.

With this project, TAO Orléans Métropole is positioning itself as one of France’s most innovative and advanced transport on-demand networks.

Padam Mobility took the opportunity to visit the site. Find here the interview of Romain Roy, Vice-President of Orléans Métropole, about the support of Padam Mobility in the implementation of the Résa’Tao network in Orléans.

“We have the feeling that we are investing taxpayers’ money better, especially as Orléans Métropole’s strategy is not to save money but to offer a better service. Transport on Demand, which is an innovative solution that does not exclude anyone, not only complements the classic offer but goes further by connecting 100% of the inhabitants of Orléans Métropole to the existing transport offer… “

Romain Roy, Vice-President responsible for transport and travel at Orléans Métropole

Learn more

FEBRUARY

New services in Bourges: Vitabus and Libertibus

Operated by Agglobus (RatpDev), Vitabus offers mobility to residents of communes that are not served by the network’s fixed routes. The LibertiBus service, on the other hand, meets the travel needs of people with reduced mobility residing in the 20 communes of the region (Bourges Plus, Saint-Florent-sur-Cher, Fussy and Pigny).

50 recruitments for Padam Mobility in 2022

Following its acquisition by Siemens, and to sustain i strong growth, the company is constantly recruiting various profiles. From trainees to senior staff, from the sales department to developers and HR… This year, all of the company’s value chains have been reinforced. A dozen positions are still available on the Welcome to the Jungle page of Padam Mobility.

Learn more about our values – Link to Padam Mobility’s website

Padam Mobility and Landor Links host Masterclass series

Together with Landor Links, Padam kicked off a three-part masterclass series. The aim of the series was to talk to partners and experts about current developments in the field of shared mobility. Participants, mainly transport operators and transport authorities, had the chance to voice their questions and concerns about DRT and get advice on how to integrate DRT into their BSIPs applications.

In the first Masterclass, Antonio Carmona, General Manager International and Head of UK Sales at Ticketer, and David Carnero, former Head of International Business Development and Partnerships at Padam Mobility, together with chair Matt Smallwood, Head of Digital Strategy, Transport for the North, talked about why – and how –  transport operators and public transport authorities should tackle the core problem of integrated ticketing.  

In the second masterclass, David spoke with Prospective Labs CEO and founder Pete Ferguson about the importance of data for DRT networks.

The third masterclass focused on the scaling potential of DTR services. On this topic, our former Head of UK Business Development Jack Holland spoke with Daniel Mould, General Director of WeDRT.

MARCH 

Andorra: launch of the UCLIC service in Encamp and Canilo

Uclic is a Transport on Demand service operated by Feda that offers users the opportunity to travel around the cities of Encamp and Canilo for 1 euro. The service is carried out with an 8-seater vehicle and has a total of 56 stops covering the different areas of the two municipalities.

The aim of this service is to bring the remote areas of the city closer to the centre and to facilitate sustainable mobility for all, particularly for the most disadvantaged, such as the elderly and young people. The service has been very well received: Nine months later, more than 72,000 reservations have been made, with an average rating of 4.9/5 for the service.

APRIL 

Padam Mobility and Hacon start their first joint On-Demand project in Switzerland

SALÜ, an on-demand service offered by Swiss transport operator BUS Ostschweiz AG, was launched in March for the city of Wil. Users have access to a Web App, and IOS and Android apps to obtain information and book the service. Padam Mobility and Hacon were responsible for the technical implementation. SALÜ is already the fifth on-demand transport project implemented by the two Siemens subsidiaries in the DACH region within just a few months. 

MAY

European rollout is accelerating with new DRT services in Spain

Two DRT services have been launched under the name TADex in the rural areas of Bajadoz (operator: Damas Extremadura), and Cáceres (operator: Solís Autocares) in Extremadura, Spain. They provide an essential travel solution for these areas, which are far from the main centre.

More about Padam Mobility’s use cases – Link to our blog

Padam Mobility is part of Siemen’s booth at the IT-Trans in Karlsruhe (Germany)

At this year’s IT-Trans trade fair in Karlsruhe, the Padam team was prominently integrated on the Siemens Mobility stand. After about a year as a firm part of the Siemens Mobility family, the software companies are increasingly growing together and showing their strength as a unit for intermodal transport systems.

JUNE

VGI-FLEXI: On-demand transport in the suburban area of Beilngries (Germany)

Since June 2022, the Greater Ingolstadt area has a new Demand Responsive Transport service called VGI-Flexi. The district of Eichstätt is the first VGI member association to introduce a digital Transport on Demand service, enabling the residents of Beilngries, Kinding and Plankstetten to benefit from a flexible mobility service. The service area comprises about 70 stops.

In October, the service was extended to a new area, around Scheyern. Four more areas will follow in 2023. Stay tuned!

Set-up of a Paratransit, peri-urban and rural DRT network in Aveyron with Agglobus, and in Rubanbleu for rural services.

Operated by SATAR, these complementary services now cover a significant part of the areas not covered by traditional networks. Thus, rural and suburban residents and those with reduced mobility can contact a call centre to request a ride. In total, fifteen vehicles have been chartered to improve the territorial coverage of public transport in the area.

Download our case study about DRT in rural ares

STO in Canada extends collaboration with Padam Mobility to offer on-demand transport in the areas of Buckingham and Masson-Angers

Also, great news from Canada – our client the Outaouais Transport Company (Société de transport de l’Outaouais, STO) decided to extend the on-demand transport service for local trips in Buckingham and Masson-Angers districts for a second consecutive year. This means residents in these districts can continue to use STO’s on-demand service in addition to the regular bus network and active modes of transport.

JULY

Padam Mobility pilots autonomous vehicles in Lyon

As part of the EU-funded AVENUE project, which tested autonomous shuttles in four European cities, including Luxembourg, Geneva and Copenhagen, Padam Mobility was selected as a technology partner to run the autonomous DRT experiment in the Lyon region.

Learn more about our AV solutions

AUGUST

Padam Mobility and Hacon launch a mobility application in Albi

In the context of a growing mobility offer and changing needs, the Albigeois Agglomeration Community has introduced a new regional brand for its mobility offers: libéA. This new brand reflects the ambition to provide the territory’s inhabitants with sustainable and reliable mobility. Behind this brand is a desire to harmonise the transport offer in order to facilitate intermodal travel for users.

The new brand identity is reflected in the new libéA mobilités application, developed by Hacon and Padam Mobility and available since the end of June. Users of the application enjoy an enhanced experience when planning their trips. The best intermodal connections are presented on the basis of existing data transmitted in real-time by the various local public operators in the agglomeration.

Visit our blog for further information

SEPTEMBER

A new service in Leicester

NovusFlex is an on-demand transport service that gives people the opportunity to travel around the New Lubbesthorpe area and access jobs and services in the neighbouring towns of Leicester and Narborough. New Lubbesthorpe is a new development located between Leicester and Narborough. 

The service, launched in August 2022 and operated by Vectare, will complement a regular shuttle service between the development and Leicester city centre.

New Lubbesthorpe’s landowner and main developer, The Drummond Estate, funded the service to provide residents with attractive and flexible transport options. Go Travel Solutions, a consultancy specialising in sustainable mobility solutions, acted as lead advisor in the design and installation of this innovative transport service.

Access the service’s website

Cognac: Deployment of a door-to-door DRT for PRM and senior citizens

Launched in September 2022, Trans’porte is a door-to-door transport-on-demand service operating on reservation throughout four defined zones in the Grand Cognac area. Operated by TRANSCOM, Trans’Porte runs from Monday to Saturday, excluding public holidays, on the basis of 3 days per week and per zone.

A Transport on Demand service initiated by a municipality: Blagnac is following the example of Clamart

The “TAD Blagnac” is the new free DRT service that was set up to complement the Toulouse urban network in poorly served urban areas. It is aimed at residents of the Layrac, Savoie and Les Prés districts. It has about sixty stops spread across the town.

Padam Mobility further expands its presence in Europe

Padam Mobility continues its national and international development with new deployments.

Our new launches not only reinforce our leadership in intelligent DRT solutions, they also confirm that our customers consider Padam Mobility to be a truly trusted partner. A company whose experts make their know-how available to operators and local authorities for the co-construction of sustainable mobility solutions. Solutions that make perfect sense in the context of the current power crisis.”

Grégoire Bonnat, CEO at Padam Mobility

Padam Mobility is part of the Siemens Mobility stand at Inno Trans in Berlin

Inno Trans in Berlin is one of the world’s largest trade fairs for public mobility. As part of the Siemens Mobility family, Padam Mobility was represented together with its sister companies Hacon, eos.uptrade and Sqills at the impressive Siemens Mobility stand on over 1000m². Together with our teams, we were able to present our on-demand technology to the visitors and also talk about our possibilities of linking road and rail.

Find out more (Text in German)

OCTOBER

Padam Mobility showcases the silent revolution of Dynamic On-Demand Transport on the occasion of the inauguration of its new headquarters

Grégoire Bonnat, CEO and co-founder, and Thibault Lécuyer, COO, spoke about the recent boom in on-demand transport and the outlook for the coming months. Following Padam Mobility’s invitation, Vincent Pilloy and Virgile Lapierre, from the Collectif mobilité Île-de-France, a partner of Padam Mobility, presented the results of their latest survey on travel in the greater Paris region.

Spending power, regional development, agile and inexpensive investment, positive environmental impact, social cohesion… there are many reasons that can explain the 150% growth in the use of Padam Mobility’s services over the last 16 months. And while the media may not yet be making a big deal of it, users are embracing the silent revolution.

Visit our blog for further information

UK: The Robin, a new Transport on Demand service, is introduced in Gloucestershire

The Robin on-demand service was launched in mid-October 2022 in Gloucestershire. The aim of the service is to provide reliable public transport to the largely rural areas of the Forest of Dean and North Cotswolds. Many people in these areas have little access to public transport, which significantly reduces their overall quality of life.

Users can book the service by phone, app or through the booking website. For the latter two options, they can choose to pay directly via the website or app, or by cash or debit card when entering the vehicle.

Visit the service’s website

A new use case for Transport on Demand: Cultural outings

This new use case of Transport on Demand for Padam Mobility is already bringing concrete benefits. The public can escape traffic jams around cultural venues by not having to use their own vehicle. The overall aim of this initiative is to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of cultural events, while at the same time relieving the public transport networks, both at peak and off-peak times.

Visit our blog for more information

Concentrated Power for Northern Europe: Sales Team at Persontrafik in Stockholm with its own stand

In August, the sales team for the Northern European market expanded – Padam Moblity was able to recruit Pranav Chittur as the new Business Development Manager.

In October, Pranav and other sales colleagues represented Padam not only at the Maas in Europe conference in Amsterdam, but also at Persontrafik in Sweden.

NOVEMBER

The Linggo service in the Langres region wins an award from the French Federation

In a bid to digitalise the region, the MixedTransport Syndicate of the Pays de Langres commissioned Padam Mobility to deploy its Transport on Demand solution.

The spotlight brought by the “Federation of things that work” is now giving Linggo’s founders a taste for more. “We really want to help other elected representatives interested in setting up this type of network. We were helped fifteen years ago and now we want to help other territories to set up a transport network adapted to their needs.

Already, elected representatives from the Vendée, the South-West and even the Paris region have shown interest in the system.

Find out more (Text in French)

Padam Mobility at the AGIR days in Nice

Padam Mobility was joined at the AGIR Days by Elisabeth Portelli, head of the Icilà service of Envibus operated by the Sophia Antipolis Agglomeration Community. Together with the Padam team, she provided details to visitors about the DRT service, which was launched in July 2019. Since its launch, more than 200,000 passengers have been transported. The initial objective was to meet the mobility needs of the region, which is made up of 21 municipalities with nearly 2,500 businesses and more than 68,000 jobs in an area of 24 km².

We currently work with Padam Mobility in 15 municipalities. We have a ticket system for technical problems, and the support team is responsive and attentive to our needs. There are real constructive exchanges and the software is updated on a regular basis.”

Elisabeth Portelli, Head of DRT at Icilà de Envibus

ULTIMO announces Padam Mobility as official partner

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.

In November, the official project launch was celebrated in Brussels. Padam Mobility’s Project Lead Javier Guimerá presented Padam Mobilty’s on-demand AV solutions to the other partners and gave insights into the successes of the AV projects supported by Padam Mobility so far.

Holibri in the fast lane: After less than a year, on-demand service in Höxter, Germany already welcomes 50,000 passenger

In December 2021, the on-demand service “Holibri” was introduced in Höxter, a city with a population of around 30,000 – easily accessible with almost 1,300 virtual stops throughout the city. And the service is catching on: An average of 4,500 passengers per month use the fleet, which is powered exclusively by green electricity – and consists of only 4 vehicles in total.

More information (Text in German)

DECEMBER

IDFM renews trust in Padam Mobility for another four years

The Padam Mobility – Setec consortium has once again been selected by Île-de-France Mobilités to continue the deployment of TàD Île-de-France Mobilités until 2026.

The Transport on Demand service operated by Île-de-France Mobilités is one of the largest DRT networks in the world. In a couple of days, it is expected to reach one million passengers. The system provides a response to the challenges of mobility in areas with low population density and poor connections to the regular infrastructure. For the renewal, the agency RƎLIEF was appointed to boost the popularity of the offer among users.

2023: Off to a great start!

On Thursday 12 January, Padam Mobility is hosting its own event: MeetUp Mobility in Marseille. The focus of the event is on public-private dialogue in the context of shared mobility projects in rural areas.

The idea behind it? To exchange opinions and make initiatives known.

Autonomous vehicle operated by TGP in Geneva
  •   Alternating between high and low population density in a multi-faceted area
  •   Geological and topographical constraints: Coastal areas, mountains…
  •   Seasonal mobility needs
  •   Ageing population
  •   Car traffic

Further info and registration

 

 

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EU-funded ULTIMO project brings Padam Mobility on board as technology partner for new AV projects

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. 

 

 

 

This article might also interest you: Padam Mobility pilots autonomous on-demand vehicles in Lyon 

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Padam Mobility pilots autonomous on-demand vehicles in Lyon

PRESS RELEASE

As part of the EU-funded AVENUE project, which is trialling autonomous shuttle buses in four European cities, including Luxembourg, Geneva and Copenhagen, Padam Mobility has been brought on board as a trusted technology partner for the Lyon region. Since May 2022, passengers can book rides on the autonomous shuttle service under the name OL Vallée A la Demande.

In this initial phase, two autonomous shuttle buses operate between the Décines Grand Large tram stop and the Groupama stadium, covering an area of 0.5 km² (see map below). Previously, there was no public transport service in this area to connect visitors with the fixed transport network, so the autonomous shuttle buses are intended to ensure that passenger flows can be transported from A to B smoothly. In addition, it is possible to use the autonomous shuttles in a free-floating model, i.e. without a fixed route plan, on the stadium’s campus.

Keolis has been testing autonomous shuttles in Lyon since 2016 and is now aiming in partnership with Padam Mobility to take the user experience to the next level. As specialists in on-demand technology, Padam Mobility will enable users to conveniently order the shuttles via app and track their status in real-time.

In the first test phase, the service runs every day from 11:50 am to 7:45 pm. After a short summer break, the service will resume in September.

AV Lyon
Service area of the new “OL Vallée A la Demande” AV-service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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