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Testing interactions between self-driving vehicles and pedestrians in central Gothenburg

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How can self-driving vehicles interact with pedestrians in traffic? This has been investigated by the research project GLAD (Goods delivery during the Last mile with Autononomus Driving vehicles). A study with self-driving delivery vehicles and pedestrians was carried out in the parking garage of the central Gothenburg shopping center Nordstan.

The GLAD project aims to investigate and create knowledge about trust and acceptance for self-driving delivery vehicles in Sweden. The project is funded by the Swedish Transport Administration. RISE, Aptiv, Clean Motion, Combitech and Halmstad University conducted the user study.

- Our starting point in this study was that you can support traffic interaction based on a vehicle's movement pattern, including braking and placement in the lane, which is confirmed by our preliminary results, says Azra Habibovic, senior researcher at RISE.

The purpose of the study was to investigate, in a controlled manner, how pedestrians interact with and experience small self-driving delivery vehicles. Each pedestrian experienced different traffic situations and interpretated the vehicle's intention in the given situation. The vehicle's driving behavior was designed to communicate the vehicle's intention in various ways, such as giving way to a pedestrian. The study lasted for two days and involved study participants from the general public.

- A self-driving vehicle that clearly communicates its intention is expected to be more reliable and easier to accept in society, says Azra Habibovic.

However, there are challenges around this as movement patterns can be interpreted in different ways in different situations. Traffic interactions of this kind are explored by Victor Fabricius, PhD student at RISE and Halmstad University.

For Aptiv, which develops sensors and algorithms for self-driving systems, the insights from the study are valuable and give a sense of how driving behavior can be used in communication with pedestrians.

- For us, it is important to test the technology carefully before we take it to real traffic and to get feedback from the public at an early stage of development is valuable, says Henrik Clasen, Technical Manager Safety Systems at Aptiv.

With its existing technology for coordinating self-driving vehicle fleets, ATMS (Autononomous Transport Management System), Combitech further develops in this project the ability to handle goods deliveries by self-driving vehicles.

- To be able to test sending transport assignments and other commands to the vehicles in a realistic context is valuable for evaluating and improving our solution, says Gustaf Bergström, Software Engineer at Combitech.

Clean Motion sees a future where small self-driving delivery vehicles are part of the supply chain in Sweden, especially when it comes to deliveries during the first and last mile.

- For this to become real, it is important that these vehicles behave in an acceptable way in traffic. Being able to test this in a realistic and unique environment in central Gothenburg is fantastic, says Christoffer Sveder, Director Commercial Operations from Clean Motion.

The GLAD research project has a broad approach, from technology and the human-machine interaction, to business models and requirements for the digital and physical infrastructure.

- It will provide unique knowledge to industry, infrastructure managers, authorities, and the research community, which is important for us at the Swedish Transport Administration to support, states the Swedish Transport Administration's strategist Hamid Zarghampour.

For more information, please contact:


Azra Habibovic

Phone: +46 10 228 40 16

Email: azra.habibovic@ri.se


Henrik Clasen, Technical Manager Safety Systems

Phone: +46 70 890 48 31

e-mail: henrik.clasen@aptiv.com

Clean Motion AB

Christoffer Sveder, Director Commercial Operations

Phone: +46 70 611 26 98

Email: christoffer@cleanmotion.se


Åsa Scherling, Head of Communications and Marketing

Phone: +46 734 18 77 98

e-mail: asa.scherling@combitech.com   

Högskolan i Halmstad

Pontus Wärnestål, Associate Professor

Phone: +46 723 02 46 40

e-mail: pontus.warnestal@hh.se

About the project

The purpose of the research project "GLAD - Goods delivery under the last mile with autononomus driving vehicles” is to create a knowledge base about the need and challenges for small self-driving delivery vehicles in Sweden before these are in actual operation. Examples of research questions addressed in the project:

• What function is ADV expected to play in the transport chain in Sweden and which scenarios have the most business potential? How will business models, taxes, regulations need to be developed?

• What are the characteristics of interactions with small self-driving delivery vehicles, and what is required to create efficient, safe, and attractive goods delivery? What are the requirements for the digital and physical infrastructure?

• What methods are suitable for evaluating small self-driving delivery vehicles in terms of safety, efficiency, and experience?

The project is funded by the Swedish Transport Administration's research and innovation portfolio Strategic Initiatives and is led by RISE Research Institutes of Sweden with Aptiv, Clean Motion, Combitech and Halmstad University as partners. The project runs from June 2020 to September 2022.

About Aptiv

Aptiv is a global technology leader, with more than 180,000 people across 124 manufacturing facilities and 12 major technical centers worldwide. With a presence in 44 countries, we address mobility’s toughest challenges through our deep software and systems integration expertise, delivering market relevant solutions for our customers.

Read more at www.aptiv.com

About Clean Motion AB

Clean Motion AB is a Swedish company that manufactures and sells electric vehicles. The company's vision is to develop truly sustainable products that a large portion of population can afford to use. The company's electric vehicle, the Zbee, is light, has a high efficiency and thus a very good operating economy. Clean Motion provides the market with safe and energy-efficient vehicles for a sustainable urban traffic environment.

Clean Motion AB is listed on First North at Nasdaq Stockholm.

For further information, please visit: www.cleanmotion.se

About Combitech AB

Combitech is a Nordic solution and consulting partner with services in areas such as digital transformation, cyber security and total defense. We are 1,900 employees, helping companies, industry and the public sector to take advantage of technology and digitalisation for a sustainable and secure society. Technology with a purpose, quite simply! Read more at www.combitech.se

Combitech is an independent company within the defense and security group Saab

About Halmstad University

Halmstad University is known for its reality-based education and small student groups. The research is internationally reputable and is conducted in interdisciplinary innovation and research environments. The university has two profile areas, Health Innovation and Smart Cities and Communities, and actively participates in societal development through extensive collaboration with both business and the public sector. Read more at www.hh.se.