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AWARD - Automated mobility for freight traffic

Jan 22, 2021

Automated mobility has the potential to make freight transport safer and more efficient. Specifically, automation can offer opportunities here to counteract challenges such as driver shortages and support consistent capacity utilization in all weather conditions.

On Januaryy 19, 2021, the kickoff of the EU funded project „All Weather Autonomous Real logistics operations and Demonstrations“ (AWARD) was held with 29 partners from twelve countries. Over the next three years, four very different use cases will test how automated mobility can be used in freight transport in concrete terms and what framework conditions still need to be created for this.

One of these use cases will be implemented in Upper Austria in cooperation with eight national partners. Austria is thus once again demonstrating the network and know-how it has built up in the field of automated mobility and how this technology can be integrated into the mobility system. AustriaTech is involved in AWARD to accompany the Austrian use case and to assist with legal feasibility. "By participating in the project, the requirements from the specific use case can be compared with the applicable framework conditions for testing in Austria at an early stage so that a solution can be developed as quickly as possible. This is also where we can contribute our expertise as National contact point for Automated Mobility," explains Wolfram Klar, Team Leader for Automation and Road Safety at AustriaTech.

Testing automated freight traffic under real conditions

The demo site in Austria will involve a short, but completely automated shuttle between a factory and a logistics warehouseon public roads. What is particularly exciting here is that not only do the legal framework conditions still have to be adapted, but certain technical components also have to be implemented specifically. For example, two traffic lights are to be installed at previously unregulated intersections that can communicate directly with the self-driving transporter. The knowledge gained in this demo site should show that solutions of this type can work for hub operators or fleets and can be integrated into more complex logistics operations.

Another goal of the project is to develop joint recommendations for policymakers on what regulatory and governance frameworks need to be established for the use of automated vehicles in logistics. This should help to further drive forward the potential offered by automation in freight transport. To ensure that all stakeholders are well integrated, the project partners include representatives from vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, fleet management, transport service providers, research, consulting and certification authorities. In addition, other stakeholders will be involved in the discussions.

The AWARD project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101006817.