NEWS - 2018/10/15

CARNET, National Research Award for public-private partnership in R&I


CARNET, National Research Award for public-private partnership in R&I

The research and innovation ‘hub’ Future Mobility Research Hub (CARNET), promoted by the UPC, Volkswagen Group Research, and SEAT and focused on the automotive sector and future urban mobility, will receive on 15 October the National Research Award for Public-Private Partnership in Research and Innovation 2017.

The National Research Awards, organised by the Government of Catalonia and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI) promotes social recognition of science and the activity of researchers, sponsors, businesses and communicators. The award ceremony presided over by Quim Torra, president of the Government of Catalonia, will be held on Monday 15 October at 7.00 p.m. in the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, Barcelona.

CARNET is the first platform for knowledge and collaboration between industry and university that uses Barcelona as a testing ground to try out new technological solutions that could improve people’s quality of life in the area of mobility. It is open to the participation of institutions and companies that wish to respond to urban mobility challenges. The initiative, which is coordinated by the CIT UPC Technology Center, is supported by other corporate partners, such as Altran, Applus+ Idiada, the Automotive Industry Cluster of Catalonia (CIAC),ELISAVA, Kineo, Ficosa, the PTV Group, the RACC and Rucker Lypsa, and enjoys the collaboration of Barcelona City Council.

CARNET works to make Barcelona and Catalunya a laboratory of ideas on new forms of mobility for people and goods that, by combining expert knowledge in a range of areas and technologies, can create new social and economic opportunities for urban environments”, stated Lluís Jofre, academic director of CARNET. Alexander Siebeneich, the industrial director of CARNET, added “CARNET must enable us to define what mobility will be like 10-15 years from now”.

Currently, this ‘hub’ is working on a range of collaborative projects that are transforming automotion and revolutionising urban mobility. These include:

Virtual Mobility Lab: a simulation tool, developed by inLab at the Barcelona School of Informatics (FIB) of the UPC, with the collaboration of Volkswagen Group Research, SEAT, the PTV Group and Kineo. The tool analyses and assesses the impact of smart mobility projects in Barcelona and can be used to extrapolate results before a pilot project is implemented. In one of the first tests, the Virtual Mobility Lab showed that the use of 500 on-demand shuttles would reduce the number of private vehicles on the city’s streets to 2,000, with the resulting improvement in traffic and pollution levels. Presented at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, this is a strategic project for CARNET members, given the increasing need for new simulation tools to implement new mobility solutions for the population.

In this project, inLab FIB UPC has undertaken the first in-depth multimodal model of the first ring of Barcelona Metropolitan Area, which includes both the offering of all public transport modes, as well as private vehicles and the updated demand for mobility. The new model will support those who make decisions on mobility policies, such as transport operators and new companies that are developing mobility alternatives and wish to assess them.

On-demand Shuttle Service: CARNET, together with SEAT, the RACC and the company Shotl, have proposed a new transport system based on on-demand shared vehicles. The system was tested on UPC students and RACC staff in the Eixample area of Barcelona. It is a more sustainable, efficient, flexible model of urban mobility, to which the inLab FIB of the UPC has contributed simulation and optimization techniques. The start-up Shotl has developed IOS and Android technologies for the system, as well as the algorithm that plans the management of routes. 

Talent generation
CARNET organises the Autonomous Driving Challenge, a challenge aimed at engineering students in which participants must develop software to move a vehicle autonomously around a delimited circuit. In the same area of promoting talent generation, every year CARNET runs the Hackathon Mobility Barcelona, to promote the design and construction of projects to improve urban mobility.

In addition, the company FICOSA, the Barcelona School of Telecommunications Engineering (ETSETB) and Barcelona School of Informatics (FIB) have developed the first seminar ‘Automotive Embedded Systems’, whose second edition will be held in February.

The ‘hub’ also participates in international networks and competitions, to create a high-quality mobility research environment. For example, last November at the UPC it organised the third edition of the Symposium on Urban Mobility Challenges: Mobility-as-a-Service, with the MaaS Catalonia initiative.