Cities are our driving force and enabler of faster innovation adoption. Supported by the EIT Urban Mobility Innovation Programme, more than 35 cities from 15 different countries are currently involved in the development of groundbreaking solutions with a high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) in response to the urban mobility challenges that threaten our urban environment.
Within this framework, we organised 3 online events, in which knowledge and experiences were shared through a series of webinars held by the City Club, the community of practice of local governments engaged in the EIT Urban Mobility Knowledge and Innovation Community. City representatives came together and engaged in a dynamic discussion around three key themes: accelerating market opportunities, encouraging clean and green mobility solutions, and deploying safe and inclusive mobility strategies. In total, 11 Innovation Projects of the EIT Urban Mobility’s 2022 portfolio were presented. The series of innovation and knowledge transfer activities within the City Club continues this spring 2022 with two online events in the coming days: one on successful examples of citizen engagement in mobility projects, and another on the NetZeroProject and the Mission platform to help achieve 100 Climate-neutral and Smart cities.
The first webinar gathered a group of cities collaborating with start-ups in their quest to respond to urban challenges by creating new relationships and facilitating their access to innovation networks.
Ms. Marij Lambert (City of Leuven, Belgium) presented the FlexCURB project, focused on the implementation of flexible and dynamic curbside management solutions to improve urban last-mile operations by fostering sectoral collaboration and tailoring tools to enhance how city logistics are presently comprehended, coordinated, and regulated. The city partners in the FlexCURB project are Leuven (BE), Toulouse Metropole (FR), Eurometropole Strasbourg (FR), and Funchal (PT).
Mr. David Fernández (Esplugues de Llobregat Municipality, Spain) illustrated the LogiSmile project, which is piloting a fully autonomous delivery system consisting of an Autonomous Hub Vehicle (AHV) that works in cooperation with smaller Autonomous Delivery Devices (ADD). A demonstration of the AHV system will take place in June in Esplugues de Llobregat (Spain). Hamburg (Germany) will host a demonstration of the AHV system this August. Finally, in October, both AHV and ADD integrated systems will be piloted in Debrecen (Hungary). The city partners in LogiSmile are Esplugues de Llobregat (ES), Hamburg and their affiliated organisation ITS Hamburg 2021 GmbH (DE), AMB – Barcelona Metropolitan Area (ES), and Dkv Debreceni Közlekedési Zrt (HU).
Finally, Mr. Alparslan Güzey (Istanbul Kultur University, Turkey) introduced the UATMDEVDEM (Urban Air Traffic Management DEVelopment & DEMonstration) project approach for developing an autonomous urban air traffic management system and supporting hardware/software components to test innovative urban air mobility solutions (including goods delivery, waste collection, and transport) in alignment with city policies that increase the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles. Beyond Istanbul, the other city partner involved in UATMDEVDEM is Belgrade (RS).
The second webinar focused on ways to implement sustainable mobility solutions based on clean and green energy.
Mr. Victor Moyano (FACTUAL Consulting, Spain) opened the session with Cleanergy4Micromobility, whose main objective is the creation and pilot implementation of an innovative platform for an off-grid and 100% clean energy (well to wheel) docking system for e-scooters powered by a solar pavement, with a cableless e-scooter attachment and adequate space for the storage of personal protective equipment. The city partners in Cleanergy4Micromobility are Barcelona (ES), Istanbul (TR), and Major Development Agency Thessaloniki (GR).
Then, Mr. Àngel López (City of Barcelona, Spain) presented ECOSWAP, which aims to develop a swap-and-go battery ecosystem and a new associated business model for deploying electric motorbikes as a competitive, agile, and sustainable means of transport in cities. The city partners involved in ECOSWAP are Barcelona Regional Agency for Urban Development and AMB – Barcelona Metropolitan Area (ES), Barcelona Serveis Municipals (ES), Sant Boi de Llobregat (ES), Network of Sustainable Greek Islands Dafni (GR), Astypalaia (GR), and Verona (IT).
Ms. Francine Linssen (Brainport Smart District, The Netherlands) introduced SmartHubs, aiming at developing and validating effective and economically viable smart and shared mobility hub solutions. The main objective is to assess if a co-designed, user-centric development can enable mobility hubs to act as a game changer to maximise accessibility and inclusion, reduce emissions, and use urban space more efficiently. The city partners in SmartHubs are Amsterdam (NL), Eindhoven (NL), Helmond (NL), Brainport SmartDistrict (NL), AMB-Barcelona Metropolitan Area (ES), Lisbon Metropolitan Transport (PT), and Sant Cugat del Valles (ES). More information is available here.
To close this second session, Mr. Raúl Urbano (Automotive Technology Center of Galicia – CTAG, Spain) presented PowerManagement. This project aims to deploy clean green mobility via power management solutions, providing a sustainable one-stop-shop solution for operators of parking spaces with electric vehicle chargers that removes bottlenecks from the power distribution network. The city partners in PowerManagement are Ricany (CZ), and Izmir (TR).
Finally, the third webinar brought together four speakers and a group of cities attracted by the design of mobility solutions around users’ needs to provide clean, safe, affordable, and equitable travel options.
Mr. Helge Wurdemann (University College London, United Kingdom) presented the LivingLAPT project, which will deliver autonomous shuttle/logistics services by phasing out the need for safety drivers and moving towards remote operators. The city partners in LivingLAPT are Helmond (NL), Prague (CZ), Ricany (CZ), Kongsberg (NO), and Hasselt (BE).
Mr. Jordi Ortuño (City of Barcelona, Spain) and Ms. Anthi Tsakiropoulou (Major Development Agency of Thessaloniki, Greece) introduced RideSafeUM. This project will allow to proactively prevent micromobility accidents and gather data for wider learning, policy-making, and management purposes. The solution will be based on the integration of computer-vision software, with camera, GPS, and a gyroscope. In addition, a city dashboard will enable authorities to identify and dynamically manage micromobility safety issues. The city partners in RideSafeUM are Barcelona (ES), Roma Servizi Mobilità (IT), and Major Development Agency of Thessaloniki (GR).
Afterwards, Ms. Olga Pereira (Braga Municipality, Portugal) presented the BICIFICATION project, which aims at supporting a modal shift towards green and active mobility through a reward-based gamification program, by proposing an advanced solution (TRL9) consisting of a completely anti-fraud patented hardware and software for monitoring and rewarding bike trips reliably. The city partners in BICIFICATION are Istanbul (TR), Braga (PT), and Tallinn (EE). Learn more here.
Finally, Ms. Annalisa Mangone (City of Milan, Italy) and Mr. Francesco Guaraldi (City of Modena, Italy) explained IPA2X: Intelligent Pedestrian Assistant to Everyone. This project proposes to improve pedestrian crossings by creating a robust alliance among the most important living labs on autonomous driving, research institutes and OEMs. With this objective, the project will pilot a new intelligent pedestrian assistant robot (IPA2X) and assess users’ acceptance in the urban environment. The city partners in IPA2X are Milan (IT), and Modena (IT).