On the 20th and 21st of September, the first Light Electric Vehicle Summit was held in Barcelona. The event was successful; more than 150 participants from 25 different countries had the opportunity to attend the 70 presentations shown during the congress. Cidaut was there as a part of the Scientific Committee and also presenting the results of the European project Plus-Moby.
During the congress it was demonstrated that the integration of the light electric vehicles in the urban scenario is a fact and a growing tendency in the near future. Cidaut is aware of this situation and strongly believes in the need to ensure the safety grade of this kind of vehicles to increase their acceptance by the users, because being greener doesn’t mean that you are going to accept a lower safety level in your vehicle.
With this concern in mind, Cidaut’s presentation was focused on the crash behavior of the vehicle comparing the results achieved by simulation with the final results obtained experimentally. The structure of the vehicle developed during Plus Moby project is based in the use of ultra high strength steel. This solution has demonstrated to have a very good ratio between stiffness and weight. After several optimization cycles the final structure was defined. The manufacturing of four prototypes was under the responsibility of IFEVS, also present in Barcelona’s event, and the crash tests were performed at Cidaut’s facilities. The tests consisted on three frontal impacts attending to Euro Ncap configuration and one lateral impact in accordance with the R95 Regulation.
Two important conclusions can be obtained from the results achieved; the first one is that it is possible to obtain high safety levels in light weight reduced size electric vehicles. The second conclusion is that the correlation level between the simulation and the experimental results is very high.
During the project it has been learnt that the light electric vehicles crashworthiness presents several particularities, but most of the difficulties can be overcome to reach a safe design.
Light electric vehicles are becoming a key actor in the urban sustainable mobility, but nowadays there is not a meeting point to highlight all the research activities related to this kind of vehicles. Attending to this need LEVS, the World Light Electric Vehicle Summit, is born.
The first edition will be held in Barcelona, 20th and 21st September 2016.
The initiative has four main objectives:
- Learn from each other’s experience.
- Present the actual status of work and achievements.
- Find partners to develop synergies and build new projects.
- Join forces to lobby relevant authorities to get support.
LEVS aims at providing a premier and high quality global platform to foster exchange of views between research and development actors, industry, authorities, end-users and Non- Governmental Organizations in the field.
Strategies for light electric vehicles development will also be discussed and defined for further actions. Seeing the huge congestion problems our cities are facing nowadays, it is no doubt that light electric vehicles have a key role to play in the future.
Cidaut is strongly involved in the reduction of the environmental impact due to mobility and it is actively working in the development of electrical solutions for light vehicles. Cidaut has developed his own electric tricycles, a small demonstrator for urban mobility and is involved, nowadays, in the 7th Frame Programme Projects: Free-Moby, Plus-Moby, Evolution, Alive and Urban-EV. Its activities are also oriented to establish crash-test standards and regulations suitable for the particularities of the light vehicles
For this high implication in the Light Electric Vehicle development CIDAUT has been invited to be a member of the LEVS Scientific Reviewing Committee, we expect to meet you there. Find more information at http://www.levs.mobi/ or get in touch with us directly at email@example.com.
CIDAUT is a member of VRUITS project consortium which, among other activities, is assessing three different technologies regarding pedestrian and cyclists’ safety.
The main target is further developing and enabling the commercialization of these technological initiatives based on pedestrian and cyclists’ safety, which have been experimentally applied in Valladolid, Alcalá de Henares (both in Spain) and Helmond (the Netherlands). These initiatives are derived from the work performed within VRUITS project (“Improving the Safety and Mobility of Vulnerable Road Users through its Applications”).
In Valladolid (Spain), a smart pedestrian crossing was launched thanks to this project. In this crossing a camera allows counting the number of people waiting to cross in a traffic light and lets them pass if the number of people and the waiting time reaches a certain value. Thanks to this system urban agglomerations can be avoided, as the threshold is set to 17 people, and the mobility and safety are improved for pedestrians.
Another location of VRUITS project is placed in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid, Spain). A technological system has been implemented at a urban intersection in which a traffic light detects the pedestrian trajectory and decides whether to extend the green light duration or not. This way, people with special mobility needs can be detected and as their crossing will take longer time, the traffic adapts to their safety. Additionally, a smartphone app has been developed in which the user can ask for a traffic light to turn green, which has been very favourably viewed by users with disabilities who can not access some traffic lights buttons.
The final project location is situated in Helmond (the Netherlands), where VRUITS project has set up the third initiative, which relates to cyclists’ protection. There is an infrastructure element that detects cyclists and send a signal to a vehicle, which processor can communicate if there is a risk of collision both for the driver or the cyclist, and if the crash is imminent, an emergency braking system is activated.
It is important to remark that some of these advanced technologies systems pass almost unnoticed in Spain, but whenever they are showed and explained, the acceptation becomes very good in cities and for those people with special mobility needs. These initiatives can be transferred to any other country, and several industrial partners have been contacted for further research actions. All these measures have been thought with vulnerable road users in mind.
VRUITS (Improving the Safety and Mobility of Vulnerable Road Users through ITS Applications) is a research project co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program. The Project VRUITS investigates how safety, mobility and comfort of vulnerable road uses can be improved with intelligent transport systems. 12 partners from 8 different countries take part in this research project.
On September 23rd, CIDAUT Foundation, as VRUITS project partner, organized a session for dissemination of the results obtained from pedestrian demonstrators developed in Spain within the project. In the session also participated SICE and POLIS, as project partners, and Valladolid City Council, as project Associated Member.
The session intended to be a country-based dissemination event as a way to promote demonstration activities as well as the project as a whole on the local and national level to authorities and ITS industry. The aim was to the establish the session as a disseminator towards other cities in the country and also served as a way to get the necessary local, regional and national stakeholders on board for the implementation of VRUITS concepts. The event counted on the participation of more than 30 attendees belonging to authorities, ITS industry and research-oriented organizations, among them, the Major of Valladolid. Moreover, local and regional media mentioned the session, including press news, radio interviews and a short filmation included in local TV within daily news.
At the start of the session, POLIS presented Key mobility trends in Europe, focussed on cyclist and pedestrians. Afterwards, Valladolid City Council showed actions focussed on mobility in Valladolid within the last years. Then, CIDAUT Foundation presented an overview of VRUITS project to the attendees. Finally, systems oriented to pedestrians located in Valladolid and Alcalá de Henares were explained by CIDAUT Foundation and SICE, and results of the trials as well as conclusions drawn from the statistical analysis of the data collected during pilot tests performed within VRUITS project were shown by CIDAUT Foundation.
Main conclusions reported during the season were:
- Implemented systems allow for collecting accurate data on pedestrian flows and tendencies, thus enabling a better traffic management in the surroundings of the installation.
- It has been demonstrated that pedestrian mobility was improved. In Valladolid test site, waiting time of the pedestrians at the crossing dropped 20% after system implementation and, accordingly, pedestrian congestions were also reduced.
- Most users do not consciously perceive the implementation of the systems, neither the mobility improvement that has been reached due to said implementation. Nevertheless, it has been established that the users unconsciously perceived aforesaid mobility improvement through a comparative analysis of the questionnaires filled prior and after the implementation of the system.
- Once the objectives and benefits of the systems are explained to the users, they value them quite positively, although mistrust has been occasionally detected as some users are afraid of the potential use of the systems as penalising devices.
- Some specific vulnerable user groups value particularly well the systems, as occurred with disable people that gave their opinion about the system implemented in Alcala de Henares.
VRUITS (Improving the Safety and Mobility of Vulnerable Road Users through ITS Applications) is a Research project co-funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Program (Grant Agreement Nº MOVE/FP7321586/VRUITS). It started in April 2013 and its final tasks are scheduled for March 2016. The Project VRUITS investigates how the safety, mobility and comfort of pedestrians, cyclists, Powered-Two-Wheelers and elderly drivers can be improved whit ITS applications. The research includes the improvement of the usability of different applications and the integration of VRUs in cooperative traffic systems.
Objectives of VRUITS project are:
- Assess societal impacts of ITS applications and provide recommendations for policies and industry on their usage, in order to improve the safety, mobility and comfort of VRUs;
- Recommend practices on how Vulnerable Road Users can be integrated in Intelligent Transport Systems and on how HMI designs can be adapted to meet the needs of VRUs, on the basis of evidences and through field trials.
The project consists of two vertical work packages: WP1 and WP7, and five horizontal work packages (WP 2-6) as shown in the figure.
First, an overview of existing and upcoming ITS systems for VRUs was provided. A total of 14 systems addressing pedestrians, 34 addressing cyclists, 28 for PTWs, and a number of 10 in-vehicle systems which benefit all kind of VRUs were initially picked. In order to identify the most promising solutions, a workshop was held with 40 relevant stakeholders including representatives of VRU groups, national and European authorities, infrastructure service providers and ITS-related organizations contributed to the prioritization process. Participants selected up to 22 applications having the highest potential for VRUs safety and rated these ITS solutions according to a set of criteria previously decided by VRUITS partners.
Activities in the next step addressed the adaptation of impact assessment methodology, in order to carry out qualitative and quantitative assessment of ITS for sub-groups of VRUs with regards to the aspects of safety, mobility and comfort, and to translate these into socioeconomic indicators. Moreover, user-acceptance and usability of existing ITS services for VRUs have been assessed, focusing on comfort, mobility and effectiveness of related information. A second workshop with stakeholders was held for this topic.
Thanks to the expertise of the participants, from the huge group of ITS initially assessed, 10 applications were withheld. The Consortium selected two of them to be demonstrated in Spain (Valladolid and Alcalá de Henares) and the Netherlands (Helmond): a cooperative Intersection Safety (INS) for cyclists in Helmond (Netherlands), an Intelligent Pedestrian Traffic Signal (IPTS) in Valladolid (Spain) and cooperative IPTS & a cooperative INS for drivers in Alcalá de Henares (Spain).
Equipment and applications at the test sites have been adapted and developed following the prioritization of ITS for VRUS and the recommended practices performed beforehand, in order to be suitable for testing by real users and under real environment.
- Valladolid site is based on the Intelligent Pedestrian Traffic Signal (IPTS) system: several Intelligent Pedestrian Detectors (IPDs) automatically detect pedestrians on the sidewalk next to the crossing, and based on their trajectories, IPDs decide whether pedestrians are waiting to cross the intersection. The IPDs send this information to an Interface Box, which gathers the data from all the IPDs and requests green light to the Traffic Light Controller (TLC) if there is a certain number of persons waiting. Then the TLC decides whether to give priority to pedestrians over vehicles and extend their green phase, based on the state of the traffic lights. This pilot also includes an Illumination on Demand Module (IDM), which is used to highlight the crossing and its surroundings, informing vehicles about the presence of pedestrians and thus enhancing the safety of the pedestrians. The objective of IPTS is to increase safety and comfort for pedestrians by automatically detecting them, extending their green phase and increasing illumination on the crossing. This application is mainly intended for areas with large amount of pedestrians.
- Alcalá de Henares site implements a smart traffic controller, which is based on the main characteristics of the Intelligent Pedestrian Traffic Signal (IPTS) and the Intersection Safety (INS) systems. The IPTS includes VRU2I (VRU-to-Infrastructure) and I2VRU (Infrastructure-to-VRU) communications where pedestrians can activate green light demand for crossing an intersection via their smart phone and in response to this, the traffic light controller (TLC) provides them the time remaining to activate pedestrian green light. While VRUs are crossing the IPTS detects them to extend the pedestrian green phase, ensuring their safe crossing. The INS includes I2V (Infrastructure-to-Vehicle) communications to inform drivers turning right, with low visibility, about pedestrians’ presence on the road. The detection of pedestrians on the crosswalk, made by the IPTS, is used to give this information to drivers. A drivers’ mobile application connected to a prototype device, able to communicate to the smart traffic controller, is developed for this function. The objectives of IPTS are increasing safety and comfort for pedestrians, (by allowing VRUs to activate a remote demand for green light and extending time on pedestrian green phase for safety crossing) and preventing collisions between right-turning vehicles with low/no visibility and crossing VRUs (by detecting the pedestrian crossing and warning the driver of the existing pedestrian crossing and iIncreasing the illumination at the pedestrian crossing).
At the end of September (date to be confirmed) a dissemination workshop targeted to local authorities and ITS industry will be held at CIDAUT premises. During this workshop, trial tests performed in both Spanish locations (Valladolid and Alcalá de Henares) will be presented, as well as an assessment on the results obtained.