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Project results from KRABAT

On November 7 a full house at our venue in Stockholm got to take part of some of the project results made within the KRABAT project. Presentations from all work packages, covering connected shared shuttle services, at the auto pilot in Stockholm, system solutions for shared cars, automated city buses, connected traffic signals and the policy lab fo future services, were made. And the progress being made was clear.
The autonomous Volvo bus at the loading station at the depot.

The KRABAT project, a part of Drive Sweden, is a part of the Government’s innovation partnership program, “The next generation’s travel and transport,” and is funded in part by Vinnova, through Drive Sweden. It gathers several actors at the forefront of developing the vehicles and mobility solutions of tomorrow. They have, through six work packages, been pushing the development within the mentioned fields. Three of these work packages have just concluded their work while the other three will be ongoing until December 2020.

Connected Traffic Signals

Johan Östling, from RISE, gave the audience some of the final results from the project. In this project they have gathered key players from organizations, cities and authorities with the goal to connect as many traffic signals as possible to the Drive Sweden Innovation Cloud. In order to do so they have tackled several questions regarding IT architecture, differences between IT systems and security issues. At the moment they have connected traffic signals in Gothenburg and Uppsala and there are plans for other ones in Stockholm and Södertälje. The technology is working well and as an example, the vehicles connected to the systems can get information about when the signals are turning with great precision.

Shared Shuttle Service, S3

Victor Malmsten, from RISE, reported their progress. Their goal is to test shared autonomous shuttle buses and demonstrate how new transport solutions can contribute to easing the densification of the city while strengthening mobility in Gothenburg and the region. At the moment, they have a route running at Lindholmen with two shuttles operating between 7 am and 6 pm. Driving in an area with lots of construction, pedestrians and bicyclists has been a challenge but they have managed to create a ride that the users appreciate. Data collected from the users show that some think the ride is quite slow, but that they feel safe riding the shuttle. Some of them want to travel faster, but without feeling any less safe. The work package is currently evaluating their data to make adjustments of their service. They are also looking in to leaving the concept with the on-board steward and are planning a new, more central, route at Lindholmen.

The Autopilot in Stockholm

Lars Polgren from Nobina reported news regarding the shuttle they are operating for SL in Kista, Stockholm. A few of their goals are to increase availability for shared and sustainable transportation, to get a leading position in innovation for sustainable growth within shared mobility and to promote collaboration between operators, academia, city and politics in one context. At the moment they want to, among other things, evaluate the logistics for route planning, try to improve the interface for passengers and improve the commutation with the shuttles. The challenges this past year have concerned infrastructure, cancelled traffic due to issues with the shuttles and that the robustness of the shuttles need to improve. Their next steps will include work to increase customer satisfaction, an adaption to more complex traffic situations, an on demand service and operation without an operator onboard (by using a control tower).

System Solutions for Shared Cars

Kari Kauppi, from Volvo Cars, gave us an update on this concluded work. They have teamed up with car rental company Hertz to see if a deal through them can improve people’s attitudes to sharing their private cars. Adding your car to an existing fleet, managed by an expert company, could be the key to give the sense of improved control over the situation when sharing your car, which is important since respondees in surveys have claimed they do not want to share their car due to the fact that they don’t trust the people renting it. The offer to add your car to Hertz’ fleet was given to people traveling out of Landvetter and Arlanda airport and a few agreed to share their car and get reimbursements for doing so. The experiences of this way of sharing a car were good, but the number of users was small.

Policy Lab on Support for Future Mobility Services

Kristina Andersson, from RISE, reported on this concluded project. Their goal is to reduce the gap between technology and markets and the policy makers. The first ones are prone to be fast-moving and risk-friendly, while the latter is often slower and more risk-averted. Within the project they have focused on two cases: P2P car sharing and employee mobility allowance.

Regarding the car sharing they have seen some progress since they have seen a tax break based on mileage fees for shared cars. Now they want to work for changes including a tax exemption or chilling for revenues from P2P car sharing and the removal of rental car legislation for car sharing and an adaptation to the sharing economy instead.

Regarding the employee mobility allowance they are working for companies to equate ”green” means of transportation like bikes and public transport with company cars, since the cars include a reduced benefit taxation. They also want companies to give the employees a monthly mobility allowance and are looking in to the problems regarding mixing business and private travel.

Automated City Buses

The development within this project has been going well. Joakim Jonsson, Volvo, showed how they have focused on three use cases: bust stop docking, bus train and depot process. The first case improves effectiveness and safety when stopping at a bus stop, the second one can heavily increase the capacity and the third one increases safety and efficiency at the depots. The tests of docking and depot driving have been successful, with the buses able to control their actions by 20 mm. The docking function is ready to be tested on a broader scale and the depot driving has been showcased in a depot, where the bus traveled from parking to service, washing and charging.