The road is the future of the autonomous vehicle
In response to the emergence of new challenges in mobility, engineers, designers and car manufacturers are developing new, and at times revolutionary, projects to change the way we get around. Among these projects, autonomous (or driverless) vehicles are a major breakthrough. Their development is currently the subject of highly advanced research in infrastructure engineering and mobile robotics in countries around the world.
Scalable capacity shuttle buses in Dubai, UAE
The island of “Bluewaters” is a new tourist destination developed by Meraas, a real estate company based in Dubai. An autonomous Ground Rapid Transit (GRT) system will connect Bluewaters Island with the Dubai metro in the residential district in under 5 minutes. Using a dedicated, majority elevated, 2.8 km road comprised of two separate lanes of traffic, it offers shared travel for between 6 and 24 passengers per vehicle according to the time of day. The service offers scalable capacity, ranging from an on-demand service during off-peak times to a system that can carry up to 2,500 passengers per hour, per direction at rush hours. 2getthere was selected to supply the transit system and autonomous transport vehicles. In partnership with Parsons and Atkins, Egis will be in charge of the design and construction engineering of the designated road, a station and the depot/maintenance centre/control centre, as well as the integration of the project as a whole. The Bluewaters GRT project is a first as a scalable capacity, autonomous shuttle-based transport service. In rush hour, the planned GRT system offers capacities comparable to those of a light tramway type system.
A technology shift for the Jacksonville “people mover” in the United States
As part of the “Ultimate Urban Circulator” project, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, JTA, wants to modernise its transit system. This ambitious project consists of transitioning from the “Jacksonville Skyway” people mover, the city’s current, low-capacity, automated transit system built more than 30 years ago, to a new transport system based on autonomous vehicles. The JTA therefore launched a consultation process to commission a study on this project to fulfil its specific needs, plan the new system’s implementation over time, and benefit from the best possible technologies. Alongside its American partner Louis Berger, Egis is tasked with producing the design study for this autonomous vehicle transport system, which will be based on an array of existing technologies. The project, the second in the United States for the Louis Berger/Egis joint venture, is the first project to replace an existing people mover-type system with driverless shuttles.
Egis at the heart of innovative projects
Driverless shuttles are a hot topic at present and are seen as the transport solution of the future. This innovation is made possible through an extensive range of digital sensors (video cameras, radars, sonars, etc.) whose data is processed by specific processors and software. Thanks to these digital tools, the road can be reproduced in 3D using shape recognition (pavements, lane markings, obstacles, etc.). Artificial intelligence algorithms then make it possible to decide on the action to take on the vehicle controls. Autonomous shuttles will present many technological and legislative challenges. With these two new projects, Egis is demonstrating its innovation capabilities on the world stage, and its position as a major player in the transportation of tomorrow.
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