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The air space above our city is about change. Drones will soon have a profound impact on our collective future - Last year alone, the city of Amsterdam detected over 43,000 low-altitude flights over our parks, squares, and waterfronts. As this trend continues to grow year-after-year, how can we repurpose drones to create a more sustainable and livable city?
This Thursday & Friday (15-16 Feb.) we are hosting the Urban Sky Lab together with Arcam and the Amsterdam Drone Lab. For this unique event we have invited Studio To Create, INBO, and FABRICations into a two-day sprint to design a future with drones for the Western Docklands, Amsterdam Zuidoost (Amsterdamse Poort area) and RAI Amsterdam.
You are welcome to attend the presentations of the preliminary results at Hotel Casa Amsterdam on Friday afternoon 16 February.
Until recently, optimists would say "in a few years." Nobody believes that anymore, except for Egon Musk. The number of - so far small - incidents involving robot taxis is increasing to such an extent that the cities where these taxis operate on a modest scale, San Francisco in particular, want to take action.
Europe vs USA
In any case, it will take a long time before robotaxis are commonplace in Europe. There are two major differences between the US and Europe when it comes to transportation policy.
In the US, each state can individually determine when autonomous vehicles can hit the road. In Europe, on the other hand, a General Safety Regulation has been in force since June 2022 that applies to all countries. This states, among other things, that a driver must maintain control of the vehicle at all times. Strict conditions apply to vehicles without a driver: separate lanes, short routes on traffic-calmed parts of the public road and always with a 'safety driver' on board.
The second difference is that in the US 45% of all residents do not have public transport available. In Europe you can get almost anywhere by public transport, although the frequency is low in remote areas. Governments say they want to further increase accessibility by public transport, even if this is at the expense of car traffic. To this end, they want an integrated transport policy, a word that is virtually unknown in the US.
Integrated transport policy
In essence, integrated transport policy is the offering of a series of transport options that together result in (1) the most efficient, safe and convenient satisfaction of transport needs, (2) reduction of the need to travel over long distances (including via the '15- minutes city') and (3) minimal adverse effects on the environment and the quality of life, especially in the large cities. In other words, transport is part of policy aimed at improving the quality of the living environment.
Integrated transport policy assesses the role of vehicle automation in terms of their contribution to these objectives. A distinction can be made between the automation of passenger cars (SAE level 1-3) and driverless vehicles (SEA level 4-5).
Automation of passenger cars
Systems such as automatic lane changes, monitoring distance and speed, and monitoring the behavior of other road users are seen as contributing to road safety. However, the driver always remains responsible and must therefore be able to take over steering at any time, even if the car does not emit a (disengagement) signal. Eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
'Hail-riding' will result in growth of traffic in cities because the number of car kilometers per user increases significantly, at the expense of walking, cycling, public transport and to a much lesser extent the use of private cars. Sofar, the number of people who switch from their own car to 'hail-riding' is minimal. The only way to reverse this trend is to impose heavy taxes on car kilometers in urban areas. On the other hand, the use of robot shuttles is beneficial in low-traffic areas and on routes from residential areas to a station. Shuttles are also an excellent way to reduce car use locally. For example, in the extensive Terhills resort in Genk, Belgium, where people leave their cars in the parking lot and transfer to autonomous shuttles that connect the various destinations on the site with high frequency.
A few months ago (April 2023), I read that Qbus in the Netherlands wants to experiment with 18-meter-long autonomous buses, for the time being accompanied by a 'safety driver'. Routes on bus lanes outside the busiest parts of the city are being considered. Autonomous metros and trains have been running in various cities, including London, for years. It is this incremental approach that we will need in the coming years instead of dreaming about getting into an autonomous car, where a made bed awaits us and we wakes us rested 1000 kilometers away. Instead of overcrowded roads with moving beds, we are better off with a comfortable and well-functioning European network of fast (sleeper) trains on a more modern rail infrastructure and efficient and convenient pre- and post-transport.
The photograph above is misleading. Reading a book instead of watching the road is not allowed in any country, unless the car is parked.
For more than a decade, car manufacturers have been working on technology to take over driver's actions. A Lot of money has been invested in this short period and many optimistic expectations have been raised, but no large-scale implementation of the higher SAE levels resulted so far. Commercial services with robotaxi’s are scarce and still experimental.
The changing tide
Especially in the period 2015 - 2018, the CEOs of the companies involved cheered about the prospects; soon after, sentiment changed. In November 2018, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said that the spread of autonomous cars is still decades away and that driving under poor circumstances and in overcrowded cities will always require a human driver. Volkswagen's CEO said fully self-driving cars "may never" hit public roads.
The companies involved are therefore increasingly concerned about the return on the $100 billion invested in the development of car automation until the end of 2021. The end of the development process is not yet in sight. Much has been achieved, but the last 20% of the journey to the fully autonomous car will require the most effort and much more investment. Current technology is difficult to perfect. “Creating self-driving robotaxi is harder than putting a man on the moon,” said Jim Farley, CEO of Ford, after terminating Argo, the joint venture with Volkswagen, after the company had invested $100 million in it.
The human brain can assess complex situations on the road much better than any machine. Artificial intelligence is much faster, but its accuracy and adaptability still leave much to be desired. Driverless cars struggle with unpredictability caused by children, pedestrians, cyclists, and other human-driven cars as well as with potholes, detours, worn markings, snow, rain, fog, darkness and so on. This is also the opinion of Gabriel Seiberth, CEO of the German computer company Accenture, and he advises the automotive industry to focus on what is possible. Carlo van de Weijer, director of Artificial Intelligence at TU Eindhoven, agrees: “There will not be a car that completely takes over all our tasks.”
Elon Musk, on the other hand, predicted that by 2020 all Tesla’s will have SEA level 5 thanks to the new Full Self Driving Chip. In 2023 we know that its performance is indeed impressive. Tesla may therefore be the first car to be accredited at SAE level 3. That is not yet SAE level 5. The question is whether Elon Musk minds that much!
The priorities of the automotive industry
For established automotive companies, the priority is to sell as many cars as possible and not to make a driver redundant. The main objective is therefore to achieve SAE levels 2 and possibly 3. The built-in functions such as automatic lane changing, keeping distance, and passing will contribute to the safe use of cars, if drivers learn to use them properly. Research shows that drivers are willing to pay an average of around $2,500 for these amenities. That is different from the $15,000 that the beta version of Tesla's Full Self Driving system costs.
The automotive industry is in a phase of adjusting expectations, temporizing investments, downsizing involved business units, and looking for partnerships. GM and Honda are collaborating on battery development; BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler are in talks to share R&D efforts for autonomous vehicles; and Ford and VW have stopped developing an autonomous car and are working together on more realistic ambitions.
Safety issues at SAE level 3
But even with a focus on SAE level 3, the problems do not go away. The biggest safety problem may well lie at this level. Elon Musk has suggested for years that Tesla's autopilot would allow drivers to read a book or watch a movie. All they must do is stay behind the wheel. They must be able to take control of the car if the automatic system indicates that it can no longer handle the situation. Studies in test environments show that in this case the reaction time of drivers is far too long to prevent disaster. An eye on the road and a hand on the wheel is still mandatory everywhere in the world, except in few paces for cars accredited at SEA level 4 under specified conditions.
The assumption is that the operating system is so accurate that it indicates in time that it considers the situation too complex. But there are still many doubts as to whether these systems themselves are sufficiently capable of properly assessing the situation on the road at all times. Recent research from King's College London showed that pedestrian detection systems are 20% more accurate when dealing with white adults than when dealing with children and 7.5% more accurate when dealing with white people compared to people with dark skin.
In the next post I will go into more detail about the legislation and what the future may bring.
You still can download for free my newest e-book '25 building blocks to create better streets, neighborhoods and cities' by following the link below
Since mid-2022, Cruise and Waymo have been allowed to offer a ride-hailing service without a safety driver in a quiet part of San Francisco from 11pm to 6am. The permit has now been extended to the entire city throughout the day. The company has 400 cars and Waymo 250. So far, it has not been an unqualified success.
A turbulent start
In a hilarious incident, an empty taxi was pulled over by police; it stopped properly, but kept going after a few seconds, leaving the officers wondering if they should give chase. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating this incident, as well as several others involving Cruise taxis stalling at intersections, and the Fire Department reports 60 incidents involving autonomous taxis.
Pending further investigation, both companies are only allowed to operate half of their fleet. In addition to the fire department and public transport companies, trade unions are also opposed to the growth of autonomous taxis. California's governor has rejected the objections, fearing that BigTech will swap the state for more car-friendly ones. It is expected that autonomous taxis will gradually enter all major US cities, at a rate just below that of Uber and Lyft.
Cruise has already hooked another big fish: In the not-too-distant future, the company will be allowed to operate autonomous taxis in parts of Dubai.
The number of autonomous taxi services in the world can still be counted on one hand. Baidu has been offering ride-hailing services in Wuhan since December 2022, and robot taxis have been operating in parts of Shenzen since then.
Singapore was the first city in the world to have several autonomous taxis operating on a very small scale. These were developed by nuTonomy, an MIT spin-off, but the service is still in an experimental phase. Another company, Mobileye, also plans to start operating in Singapore this year.
The same company announced in 2022 that it would launch a service in Germany in 2023 in partnership with car rental company Sixt 6, but nothing more has been heard. A survey by JD Power found that almost two-thirds of Germans do not trust 'self-driving cars'. But that opinion could change quickly if safety is proven and the benefits become clear.
What is it like to drive a robotaxi?
Currently, the group of robotaxi users is still small, mainly because the range is limited in space and time. The first customers are early adopters who want to experience the ride.
Curious readers: Here you can drive a Tesla equipped with the new beta 1.4 self-driving system, and here you can board a robotaxi in Shenzhen.
The robotaxis work by hailing: You use an app to say where you are and where you want to go, and the computer makes sure the nearest taxi picks you up. Meanwhile, you can adjust the temperature in the car and tune in to your favourite radio station.
Inside the car, passengers will find tablets with information about the journey. They remind passengers to close all doors and fasten their seatbelts. Passengers can communicate with remote support staff at the touch of a button. TV cameras allow passengers to watch. Passengers can end the journey at any time by pressing a button. If a passenger forgets to close the door, the vehicle will do it for them.
The price of a ride in a robotaxi is just below the price of a ride with Uber or Lyft. The price level is strongly influenced by the current high purchase price of a robotaxi, which is about $175,000 more than a regular taxi. Research shows that people are willing to give up their own cars if robotaxis are available on demand and the rides cost significantly less than a regular taxi. But then the road is open for a huge increase in car journeys, CO2 emissions and the cannibalisation of public transport, which I previously called the horror scenario.
In some cities, such as Detroit, Austin, Stockholm, Tallinn and Berlin, as well as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, minibuses operate without a driver, but usually with a safety officer on board. They are small vehicles with a maximum speed of 25 km/h, which operate in the traffic lane or on traffic-calmed streets and follow a fixed route. They are usually part of pilot projects exploring the possibilities of this mode of transport as a means of pre- and post-transport.
Recently, I published a new e-book with 25 advices for improving the quality of our living environment. Follow the link below to download it for free.
In an autonomous car from SAE level 4, perception equipment – the eyes and ears – and software take over human brain functions. This requires accurate maps, laser, radar, lidar and cameras. The lidar, which means 'detect light and range', works in conjunction with the car's cameras. This system pulses laser waves to map the distance to objects day and night, up to up to 100 meters with an accuracy of a few centimeters. The price of all this equipment is between €150,000 and €200,000. The lidar is a high-cost item, although this system is becoming increasingly cheaper due to industrial production. Together, these tools build a four-dimensional image of the environment, and all functions of the moving car are controlled using stored software and communications in the cloud.
Google's X-lab began developing an autonomous car in 2009. In 2016, the company had already completed more than 1.5 million test kilometers and spent $1.1 billion on the development of an autonomous car. The company previously used a self-developed model ('the firefly', see photo). The company then deployed converted Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids, and these will be exchanged for fully electric Jaguar I-Pace cars.
In 2016, Google's parent company Alphabet parlayed autonomous car developments into a new company called Waymo (derived from "a new way of mobility").
Cruise was founded in 2013 with the intention of developing a self-driving car. In 2016, General Moters acquired the company for an amount of $500 million. To date, the company has completed 700,000 test miles in San Francisco's urban environment with no fatalities.
In 2016, Uber began working with Volvo to develop an autonomous car that could serve as a taxi. The company had acquired software manufacturer Otto for a net $600 million. The company predicted that there will be 75,000 self-driving cars on the road by 2019. That became zero. During the test phase, the company experienced several accidents, including one with a fatal outcome. In addition, Waymo became a target of data theft, a case that was decided in Waymo's favor by the court. Uber therefore had to pay damages of €250 million (in shares). This led to the departure of Uber founder Travis Kalanick. His successor, Dara Khosrowshahi, has put the development of an autonomous car on the back burner. It was recently announced that Uber has signed a contract with Waymo to use this company's autonomous cars in the future.
Until recently, the use of lidar was not possible due to the high costs for car manufacturers that opt for accreditation at SAE level 3. Tesla therefore equipped its cars exclusively with radar, cameras and computer vision. The latter means that all driving Teslas transmit camera images of traffic and the way in which motorists react to 'the cloud'. The company has been developing these images with artificial intelligence for years. It prides itself on the fact that its cars have rules of conduct for every conceivable traffic situation.
The development of the Tesla was accompanied by high expectations but also by many accidents, some of which were fatal. Last year, Tesla made available a beta version of the FSD ("Full Self Driving") software package for a price of $15,000. However, the company had to recall as many as 362,000 cars under the authority of the Traffic Safety Administration because this package was encouraging illegal driving. It looks like that these issues have been resolved and some experts have suggested that Tesla will be able to qualify for accreditation at least at SEA Level 3. This still has to happen.
Ford and Volkswagen
These companies threw in the towel in 2022 and unplugged Argo, a company that was supposed to develop an autonomous car to provide SAE level 4 taxi services. Instead, both companies announced focusing on the SAE levels 2 and 3, like most auto makers.
According to analysts at AlixPartners, the industry has invested $100 billion in developing car automation by 2023, in addition to $250 billion in development of electric cars. I will discus the profitability of these investments later.
At this time, every car manufacturer plus hundreds of startups are working on developing artificial intelligence for driving automation. This should enable communication with the car’s passengers, sensing and anticipating the behavior of other vehicles and road users, communicating with the cloud and planning a safe and fast journey. I will write later about the investments made to achieve this goal.
The development of car automation became visible when Google was the first to start a project in 2009. The activities that technology companies and the automotive industry carry out start from two different visions of the desired result.
Maintain the existing traffic system
The first view assumes that automation is a gradual process that will result in drivers ability to transfer control of the vehicle in a safe manner. It is provisionally assumed that a driver will always be present. That is why taking over control is no problem under specific conditions, such as bad weather and crowded streets. Tesla, an outspoken supporter of this vision, has therefore been talking about its autopilot for years. This came under heavy criticism because the number of functions that were automated was limited. Partly because of this, the so-called autopilot could only be used on a limited number of roads and under favorable conditions.
Most established automotive manufacturers primarily have in mind the higher segment of automobiles and announce they will only make relatively cheaper models suitable for this purpose at a later stage. Maintaining the current traffic system is paramount. The car industry wants to avoid at all costs that people will eventually stop buying cars and limit themselves to ride-hailing in autonomous vehicles.
Moving towards another traffic system
The latter is exactly the intention of the companies that adhere to the second vision. These primarily include non-traditional automotive companies, with Google (later Alphabet) in the lead. What they had in mind from the start was to achieve SAE level 4 and, in the long term, SAE 5 level, cars that can drive safely on the road without the presence of a driver. Companies belonging to this group advocate a completely new transport system. In their opinion, safe driving at SAE level 3 is impossible if the driver is not constantly paying attention. They believe that in the event of a 'disengagement signal', taking control of the car takes too much time and will result in dangerous situations. In addition to Google, Uber (in collaboration with Volvo) also belonged to this group, but now appears to have dropped out. This also applies to Ford and Volkswagen. General Motors is betting on two horses and aims to maintain accreditation at SAE level 4 with its subsidiary Cruise, although Alphabet's subsidiary Waymo has by far the best cards.
Important message for the readers
From next year on, the frequency of my articles about the quality of our living environment will decrease. I admit to an old love: Music. In my new website (in Dutch) I write about why we love music, richly provided with examples. Maybe you will like it. Follow the link below to have a look.
The term 'self-driving car' is used for a wide variety of technical support systems for car drivers. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has distinguished six types, as mentioned in the tabel above. This classification is recognized worldwide.
At SAE level 0, a car has been equipped with various warning systems, such as unvoluntary deviation from lane, traffic in the blind spot, and emergency braking.
At SEA levels 1 and 2, cars can steer independently or/and adjust their speed in specific conditions on motorways. Whether drivers are allowed to take their hands from the steering wheel depends on national law. That is certainly not the case in Europe. As soon as environmental conditions make steering and acceleration more complex, for example after turning onto a busy street, the driver must immediately take over the steering.
A properly functioning SAE Level 3 system allows drivers to take their eyes off the road and focus on other activities. They must sit behind the wheel and be on standby and are always held responsible for driving the car. They must immediately take over control of the car as soon as 'the system' gives a ('disengagement') signal, which means that it can no longer handle the situation. There is currently no car worldwide that is accredited at SEA-3 level.
This level of control is not sufficient for driverless taxi services. Automotive and technology companies such as General Moters and Alphabet have been working hard to meet the requirements of the higher levels (SAE 4). Their expensive cars (up to $250,000) have automated backups, meaning they can handle any situation under specified conditions, such as well-designed roads, during the day and at a certain speed. Under these circumstances, no driver is required to be present.
SAE Level 5 automation can operate without a driver in all conditions. There is currently no vehicle that meets this requirement.
The variety of options in this classification explains why the term 'self-driving car' should not be used. Cars classified at SAE level 1 and 2 can best be called 'automated cars' and cars from SAE level 3 onwards can be called autonomous cars.
The state of California introduced new rules in 2019 that allow cars at SAE 4 level to participate in traffic. Very strict conditions apply to this. As a result, Alphabet (Waymo) and General Motors (Cruise) have been allowed to launch driverless taxi services. All rides are monitored with cameras to prevent reckless behavior or vandalism.
<strong>Last week, you might have read the last in a series of 25 posts about improving environmental quality. Right now, I have finalized an e-book containing all posts plus additional recommendations. If you follow the link below, you can download the book (90 pages) for free. A version in Dutch language can be downloaded HERE**</strong>
If autonomous cars can transport us affordably, do we no longer want to own our own car? Are we switching en masse from public transport, do we leave our bikes unused, or do we walk less? Do we drive alone, or do we share the car with other passengers? Will autonomous cars share he road with other traffic, including cycling? Are we going to use a car more often and longer and how many cars drive empty waiting for a customer?
Of course, no scientific study can answer all these questions yet. Nevertheless, research offers some insight.
First, what do we know about the influence of ride-hailing? That is calling a taxi from Uber or Lyft and a handful of other companies with an app. Juniper Research expects that the use of this service, which already has a global turnover of $ 147 billion, will increase fivefold in the coming five years, regardless of whether the taxis involved are 'self -driving' or not. Clear is that most users seem not to appreciate the presence of fellow passengers: the number of travelers that share journeys is only 13%.
Research in seven major American cities shows that 49 to 61 percent of all Uber and Lyft-taxi rides would have been made by walking, cycling, taking public transport or not at all. These journeys only replace car use to a limited extent. As a result, the number of train passengers has already fallen by 1.3% per year and that by bus by 1.7%. At the same time, congestion has increased.
A publication in the Journal Transport policy showed that travelers travel twice as many kilometers in every American region that they would have done if Uber and Lyft did not exist. It also turned out that taxis drive empty 50% of the time while they are waiting for or on their way to a new customer. Another study found that many Uber and Lyft customers who once used public transport buy a car for themselves.
The effect of 'self -driving' cars
The number of studies after the (possible) effect of the arrival of 'self -driving' cars is increasing rapidly. Research by the Boston Consultancy Group showed that 30% of all journeys will take place in a 'self -driving' car as soon as they are available. A considerable number of former public transport users says they will change. Despite the price advantage, the respondents will make little use of the option to share a car with other passengers, but it is known that attitudes and related behavior often differ. Nevertheless, this data has been used to calculate that there will be more cars on the road in large parts of the cities, resulting in more traffic jams.
Semi-experimental research also showed that the ability to travel with a 'self-driving' car results in an increase in the number of kilometers covered by around 60%. Unless autonomous cars drive electrically, this will also have significant negative consequences for the environment.
The Robottaxis in suburbs had a different effect: here travelers would leave their car at home more often and use the taxi to be transported to a station.
See robot taxis and public transport in combination
Despite all the reservations that must be made with this type of research, all results indicate a significant increase in the use of taxis, which will be at the expense of public transport and will result in more traffic jams in urbanized areas. This growth can be reversed by making shared transport more attractive. Especially on the routes to and from train, metro, and bus stations. Only in that case, will there be an ideal transport model for the future: large-scale and fast public transport on the main roads and small-scale public transport for the last kilometers and in rural areas.
In a couple of days my new ebook will be available. It is a collection of the 25 recommendations for better streets, neighbourhoods and city's that have been published at this spot during the last months
How far are we from large-scale use of 'self-driving' cars. This and subsequent posts deal with this question. In answering it, I will focus on the potential contribution of self-driving cars to the quality of the living environment. Nowadays, the development of self-driving cars has faded a bit into the background. There is a reason for that, and I will get to it later.
When 'self-driving' vehicles first emerged, many believed that a new urban utopia was within reach. This would save millions of lives and contribute to a more livable environment. However, it is only one of the scenarios. Dan Sperling writes: The dream scenario could yield enormous public and private benefits, including greater freedom of choice, greater affordability and accessibility, and healthier, more livable cities, along with reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The nightmare scenario could lead to even further urban expansion, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and unhealthy cities and people.
The dream scenario
Do you have to go somewhere? On request, a self-driving car will stop in front of your door within a few minutes to make the desired journey. After you have been safely dropped, the car drives to the next destination. Until a few years ago, companies like Uber and Lync were looking forward to the day when they could fire all their drivers and offer their services with 'self-driving' cars. Naturally at lower prices, which would multiply their customer base. In this scenario, no one wants to have their own car anymore, right? The number of road casualties also will reduce drastically in this scenario. Autonomous cars do not drink, do not drive too fast, never get tired and anticipate unexpected actions of other road users much faster than human drivers. At least that was the argument.
Quick calculations by the proponents of this scenario show that the number of cars needed for passenger transport could decrease by a factor of 20 (!).
The nightmare scenario
This calculation was perhaps a little too fast: Its validity depends on a perfect distribution of all trips over day and night and over the urban space and on the presence of other road users. What you don't want to think about is that outside rush hour, most of the fleet of 'self-driving' cars is stationary somewhere or driving aimlessly in circles. Moreover, the dream scenario assumes that no one switches from public transport, walking, or cycling. Instead of improving cities, these types of cars have the potential to ruin them even further, according to Robin Chase, co-founder of Zipcar. Taxis, especially those from Uber and Lyft, are already contributing to traffic jams in major American cities and to the erosion of public transportation
Both views are based on suspicions, expectations, and extrapolations and a dose of 'wishful thinking' too. In the next posts, I will discuss results of scientific research that allows to form a more informed opinion about both scenarios.
Dit you already visit my new website 'Expeditie Muziek'. This week an exploration of world-class singer-songwriter 'Shania Twain
The Sharing Cities Alliance and the City of Amsterdam welcome you to take part in a roundtable discussion about ‘AI & The City', taking place during the Society 5.0 Festival in Amsterdam. This roundtable brings together a dynamic community of creative professionals to explore the profound intersections of Artificial Intelligence and urban life.
We'll explore the evolving landscape of AI and its transformative potential within our cities. Our discussion will touch upon the ways AI is reshaping urban environments, from livability to climate tech solutions and from transportation to the economy.
Together, we'll also delve into the ethical considerations surrounding AI deployment in urban settings, emphasizing the importance of preserving public values and ensuring positive outcomes for our communities.
Join us for a thought-provoking dialogue, where visionary minds come together to imagine and shape a future where AI and cities harmoniously coexist, fostering innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity. ‘AI & The City’ is your opportunity to be part of this essential conversation, where creativity meets technology to pave the way for brighter and more resilient urban landscapes.
#livability #climatechange #wellbeing #economy #urbanplanning #ethics #privacy #safety #trust
(Observant players might recognize the touch of generative AI throughout this invitation ;))
I'm currently writing my thesis on smart mobility solutions and their (expected) impact in the fight against climate change. As I'm also looking at cooperation between cities, I'd be very grateful if through posting this, I could get answers to the following questions.
- Does Amsterdam cooperate with other cities in the development of smart mobility solutions, like Roboat, Vehicle-2-Grid, or eHubs?
- Do other cities contact Amsterdam for advice and expertise with their smart mobility initiatives?
Thank you all and have a nice week ahead!
We are looking for parties with experience with mobility, accessibility, mobility as a service, city logistics & delivery, autonomous vehicles, willing to think together or collaborate in a research by design project on the impact of e-commerce and remote working on future urban space and street design.
We are urban experts, with strong interest in mobility-related topics and a passion for creating more inclusive and sustainable living environments. We are in the process of submitting an application to the following grant: Ways to Wellbeing.
If interested in contributing or joining our team, please contact us via the mail below, before the end of week 8.
Would you like to take part in a Virtual Reality experiment? Then we are looking for you!
What is it? An indoor experiment about using Virtual Reality (VR) to study pedestrian crossing behaviour. Virtual Reality can be a powerful tool in the future to experiment with new settings and implementations before putting them into practice. Are you interested? Register or get in touch with us.
When? From 11 April until 6 May for the duration of 60-90 minutes per participant
Where? AMS Institute, Marineterrein Amsterdam, Kattenburgerstraat 5
Who? Everyone is welcome! We are looking for participants who want to join and help us make it a success! Each participant will receive a €10,- gift voucher
Register now! Here
From February 16 to 18, 2022 AMS Institute hosts the scientific conference "Reinventing the City". Working on urban challenges requires cooperation on a multi-stakeholder level. This is what we do as an institute, and is also the primary goal of the conference. "To share and discuss multidisciplinary insights and inspire each other to take actionable steps towards sustainable urban transformations."
The conference will bring together over 200 urban innovators ranging from scientists, policymakers, students to industry partners. We will discuss how cities can transform their systems on a metropolitan scale, to become more livable, resilient, sustainable and offer economic stability. Don't miss out on this amazing event, and register now.
This is event is hosted by AMS Institute in collaborations with the City of Amsterdam.
In de Johan Cruijff ArenA vond onlangs de kick-off plaats van Wat Mensen Beweegt, een nieuw onderzoeksproject gericht op duurzame mobiliteit in het Amsterdamse ArenA-gebied.
De Hogeschool van Amsterdam en NEMO Kennislink onderzoeken in samenwerking met eventlocaties ArenA, Ziggo Dome en AFAS Live wat ervoor nodig is om bezoekers te stimuleren duurzamere reiskeuzes te maken.
Vaak gaat het bij dit soort vraagstukken over technische of infrastructurele uitdagingen want die zijn van groot belang. Het gedrag van de individuele reiziger speelt vaak net zo’n belangrijke rol. Daarom richt dit project zich op de belevingswereld van bezoekers. Wat beweegt hen om te kiezen voor de auto, trein of ander vervoer? Hoe kunnen door inzicht te krijgen in de rol van emoties en gedrag betrokken organisaties zoals de ArenA worden geholpen bij het faciliteren van een duurzamer reisgedrag? En hoe kunnen we zorgen dat de bezoeker daar zelf actief aan bijdraagt?
Dit project doet hiervoor een eerste exploratieve verkenning. Resultaten worden in het voorjaar van 2022 getoetst op mogelijkheden om de aanpak die is ontwikkeld verder op te schalen.
Dit project is een unieke samenwerking tussen de Hogeschool van Amsterdam (Lectoraat Creative Media for Social Change) die creatieve methoden inbrengt en het wetenschapjournalistieke platform NEMO Kennislink dat werkt via constructieve journalistieke methoden. Naast de eventlocaties wordt nauw samengewerkt met het Platform Smart Mobility Amsterdam, ZO Bereikbaar en het Amsterdam Smart City netwerk.
Wil je meer weten, neem dan contact op met:
Johan Cruijff ArenA
Maurits van Hövell, Consultant Mobility and Environment, email@example.com
Hogeschool van Amsterdam
Tamara Witschge Lector Creative Media for Social Change, firstname.lastname@example.org
Giovanni Stijnen, sr. program & business development, email@example.com
Leon Heuts, Hoofdredacteur, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wat als iedereen in de stad op <b>elke</b>straathoek hun afval volledig gescheiden aan zou kunnen bieden – van luiers en lokaal composteerbaar groen, tot plastic en drinkpakken? Niet met de logistieke nachtmerrie van een overdaad aan aparte inzamelbakken, maar met robots die het aangeboden afval naar een centraler punt rijden. Of wat als robots kunnen helpen om het opruimen van vermoedelijk drugsafval efficiënter en veiliger te maken? Of wat als ze de schoonmakers van de stad ondersteunen in het schoon houden van lastige plekken als oevers en kades?
Dat zijn een paar van de ideeën die zijn geoogst tijdens de workshop ‘Robots & een leefbare stad’, op de demodag van Amsterdam Smart City, 16 september 2021. Ik deelde resultaten van ons onderzoek met het AMS Instituut en de TU Delft naar de interacties die ontstaan tussen robots en mensen op straat. Daarna hebben we gebrainstormd over hoe ‘straatrobots’ van nut kunnen zijn voor een schonere stad. Het werd een inspirerend gesprek, door een rijke mix mensen van gemeentes, provincies en onderzoeksinstituten.
Naast de vele ideeën, kwamen ook de meer kritische vragen aan bod. Kan een robot bijvoorbeeld wel omgaan met de onvoorspelbaarheid van de stad? Zouden gebieden buiten de stad dan niet beter werken? Kunnen robots bewustwording verhogen, ‘nudgen’, zonder manipulatief te zijn? Hoe kunnen we dit juist een kans maken voor kwetsbare groepen, zoals mensen met een beperking? Kunnen we niet beter eerst de behoeftes in kaart brengen, in plaats van meteen na te denken over robots?
Kortom, vele inzichten die samen een eerste aanknopingspunt kunnen vormen voor een schonere stad. De diversiteit van de groep gaf hele verschillende perspectieven op het wel of niet inzetten van robots. Een waardevolle aanvulling op waar we zelf al aan dachten. En de nadrukkelijke uitnodiging om de toegevoegde waarde voor mensen voorop te zetten.
Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) is the international leading event for cities held in Barcelona since 2011. The mission is to empower cities and collectivize urban innovation across the globe. Through promoting social innovation, establishing partnerships and identifying business opportunities, the event is dedicated to creating a better future for cities and their citizens.
The Netherlands will join the Expo with a trade mission. Dutch companies working in the smart city field are welcome to join a business event with The Nordics, get a role in the program on the Expo, contribute to matchmaking events and join a big amount of other side events!
Be quick and sign up for this trade mission before the 7th of October!
Not a company, but planning to go to Barcelona for knowledge exchange, inspiration and networking? Let us know! There will be programs for non-companies as well!
More information about the Smart City Expo: https://www.smartcityexpo.com/the-event/
More information about the Dutch trade mission to the Smart City Expo: https://www.rvo.nl/actueel/evenementen/smart-city-missie-naar-smart-city-expo-world-congress-barcelona
De gemeente Amsterdam en de Hogeschool van Amsterdam starten in november 2021 een onderzoek naar het reisgedrag van Amsterdammers. Een bereikbare en leefbare stad begint bij de behoeften van de inwoners. Hoe vaak, wanneer en met welke voertuigen verplaatsten ze zich door de stad? Dat zijn vragen waar we met de proef antwoord op willen krijgen.
Over het onderzoek
De proef wordt uitgevoerd met behulp van de slimme app Fynch. Fynch biedt niet alleen een helder overzicht van iedere gemaakte rit, ook de CO2-uitstoot, afgelegde kilometers, vermeden spitsuren en aantal minuten beweging per dag worden bijgehouden. De Hogeschool van Amsterdam onderzoekt het reisgedrag van Amsterdammers via de ritten in de app en stuurt tijdens het onderzoek twee vragenlijsten om nog meer te weten te komen over de reisbehoeften van de deelnemers.
Doe mee aan de proef
Woont u in Amsterdam en heeft u een auto? Meld u dan aan via onderstaande link! U draagt bij aan de ontwikkeling van een leefbare en bereikbare stad en ontvangt na afloop van de proef een bol.com bon van €20.
The idea behind MaaS (Mobility as a Service) is to give you an overview of all the public transport and shared mobility options an area has to offer. Instead of owning transport, you're just paying for the use of transport which makes streets less crowded and air cleaner. It wouldn't be 2021 if it didn't come with an easy to use app. But how easy is it really?
You no longer need a OV-Chipkaart. With the Amaze Mobility app you can plan, pay and travel with public transport or shared mobility. You can use different shared mobility with one account, so choose the tram today and a shared bike tomorrow. And since the app makes it easy to manage and share travel expenses, just say goodbye to bulky declarations.
Want to give the Amaze Mobility app a try?
Let’s change the way we travel and improve the liveability in cities as we go. We are still looking for companies that want to partner with us to test and spread the app.
Note from ASC: Like to know more or do you have a tip? Let Karin know in the comments.
Located in the Plantage area of Amsterdam, a new exhibition space featuring cool new innovations in technology has recently opened.
The gallery space contains many exhibits dedicated to augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and robotics. Each station is interactive and playful, ensuring visitors will have fun while learning about these various technologies.
Based around the theme of sustainability, the space shows how we can use technology as a resource to improve not only our lives but our world. Be sure to check out this unique educational tech gallery!
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