Welcome to a new issue of the ‘Unlocking IN2CCAM’ series. From the lakes and the innovation hub for automated mobility of Tampere, we move to the south of the continent, specifically to the Greek city of Trikala. Explore how this innovative city advances smart urban mobility with CCAM technologies and services like traffic light synchronisation to enhance users’ safety and streamline their experience.
Trikala, located in the heart of inland Greece, is an innovative city with around 80,000 inhabitants. Also known as the country’s ‘first digital city’, Trikala has implemented a smart city infrastructure, including an innovative urban transportation system with automated buses, making it a notable example of modern urban planning and technology integration. Seeking to enhance sustainability, Trikala is one of the 100 cities in the ‘Climate Neutral and Smart Cities’ Mission.
The city has been participating in EU mobility research programs for almost a decade, with IN2CCAM being the latest initiative towards a more cooperative, connected, and autonomous mobility future. In this project, e-Trikala and the Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (ICCS) will build upon the city’s existing services, developed in previous research projects, like CityMobil2, AVINT and SHOW, to push the boundaries of automated, demand-responsive, and shared mobility solutions even further.
Although cycling and walking are popular in the city, and there is a well-established public transport network with 26 bus lines and intercity bus services, residents rely on private cars for daily trips. This is especially evident for individuals residing in rural and peri-urban regions, which do not have as many public services available, as well as vulnerable communities.
The Trikala Living Lab aims to enhance the efficiency and safety of the city’s urban transportation by improving a fleet of on-demand Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) and developing additional C-ITS solutions. The CAVs will operate on a predefined route that links the city centre’s rail station to the university campus in the suburbs of Trikala. Passengers will have the ability to request rides with the CAVs and get around using a mobile app.
To reach its objectives, e-Trikala and ICCS will:
- Collect real-time traffic data from the city network to synchronise the traffic light signals along the AV’s route. This traffic-based “green wave” is designed to reduce the shuttle journey times significantly. In addition, they will send GLOSA (Green Light Optimised Speed Advisory) messages to the AVs, prompting them to adjust their speeds as they approach signalised junctions, minimising the frequency of stops.
- Enhance the safety of the service at a key location of the route thanks to Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) warning messages. Those messages will be sent to the vehicle/safety driver to inform them when uncontrolled pedestrian crossings take place ahead.
- Streamline ride requests and bookings through a user-friendly mobile app that seamlessly integrates with the current smart services available in Trikala. For example, individuals in the city centre can conveniently utilize storage lockers at the central info-point to store their heavy luggage.
- Conduct simulations to explore future scenarios involving the widespread adoption of automated vehicles and assess their effects on the environment and traffic.