The opening ceremony of the large-scale demonstration of public transport automated vehicles, WITHOUT DRIVER, in the City of Trikala, Greece was held with great success on Tuesday, November 10th 2015.
The demonstration will last 5 months and are conducted with the support of the Municipality of Trikala, e-Trikala S.A., the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, the company Robosoft, the Region of Thessaly and the Greek Police, within the framework of the European project CityMobil2. It is certainly worth mentioning that this is the first time in history that fully automated vehicles are driving in the city streets along with manually driven cars, which can only mean that the realization of these pilot tests in the City of Trikala is an endeavor both innovative and ground-breaking at an international level.
The European project CityMobil2, which is co-financed by the European Union under the 7th Framework programme for research, technological development and demonstration, focuses mainly on the promotion of the necessary legislative and regulatory adjustments to allow the future deployment of automated transport systems, with basic aim to address the largest issues of most big cities, such as traffic congestion, environmental protection and road safety.
ICCS’s role in the CityMobil2 project is to define the technical characteristics of the automated vehicles that are already used in trials in many European cities, and in particular the requirements regarding the recognition and avoidance of obstacles and other objects along their path. ICCS also contributed to the design of the wireless communication amongst vehicles as well as to the design and installation of the necessary infrastructure of the control centre in Trikala. In addition, ICCS performed the traffic study for the system design in the City of Trikala, in close co-operation with the company e-Trikala S.A. On top of all that, ICCS significantly contributed to the discussions and efforts that took place in order to reform the Greek regulatory framework so as to allow the performance of the demonstration in the City of Trikala.
Before the opening ceremony, a press conference took place, during which all involved in this pilot site stakeholders presented in detail this important effort. The representatives of the basic stakeholders that made this demonstration a reality took the stand as follows:
- Mrs Theopisti Perka, Secretary General of the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks;
- Mr. Dimitris Papastergiou, Mayor of the City of Trikala;
- Mr. Odysseas Raptis, CEO of e-Trikala S.A.,
- Mr. Carlos Holgu
in, project manager of the Research Center for Transport and supply chain of the University of Rome (CTL) and coordinator of the project CityMobil2 and
- Mr. Panos Kouvalis, Motor Underwriting Manager, INTERAMERICAN P&C S.A.
During this press conference, Dr. Angelos Amditis explained the role of ICCS in the conduction of the demonstration in the City of Trikala, while he stated the following for the importance of the demonstration of automated vehicles in the City at an international level:
“ …automation in transport is approaching on an international level, especially if you take into consideration the fact that in the next three years, almost 300 million euros are going to be spent on research activities focusing on automated transportation, and that in the E.U. alone. Therefore, we can all understand that what is taking place today in Trikala is a breakthrough with a huge impact. Automated transportation doesn’t work in competition with the public transportation modes we are using today. On the contrary, they are working complementary to them in order to assist the overall design and planning of public transport, so as to become more viable, safer and with multiple benefits (in development, in the environment….) for the user as much as for the city itself. I would like to point out that according to the above info, it is now clear that the citizens of the city of Trikala are playing a determining role in the evolution of automated transportation since they will be the first in the world to evaluate this kind of development, and they are expected to contribute drastically to the final design of these systems according to their needs”.
After the end of the press conference, the different stakeholders visited the vehicle control center and boarded the 4 available automated vehicles for a ride along the predetermined route which has been specifically designed, for this purpose, route inside the urban environment of Trikala.
For more info about the Greek contribution to the CityMobil2 project and the role of ICCS, please contact Dr. Angelos Amditis (firstname.lastname@example.org), Research Director of ICCS and Head of I-SENSE Group (https://i-sense.iccs.gr/)