NEWS - 2022/06/20

Ona Showcased her Autonomous Navigation Capabilities in the Streets of Esplugues de Llobregat

Within the framework of LogiSmile, the autonomous delivery device called Ona was tested in the city of Esplugues de Llobregat (Spain) between 7 and 10 June. This project is co-funded by the EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

The robot was piloted on a 750-meter track that mixed roads and pedestrian areas. The pilot scope included the validation of the autonomous navigation system, robot-human interaction, and validation of remote teleoperations. The delivery of 2 parcels to users along the test track was also demonstrated and validated.

One of the LogiSmile partners’ main goals is to show policy makers and city planners that autonomous delivery robots are safe and that a sustainable deployment in cooperation with cities is possible. During the institutional Demo Day on June 10, Lluís Jofre i Roca (Academi Director at CARNET), Dr. Laia Pagès (Executive and Scientific Manager at CARNET), Daniel Crespo (Rector at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC)), Daniel Serra (EIT Urban Mobility Director of the Innovation Hub South), Pilar Díaz (City Mayor of Esplugues de Llobregat), and Raquel Sánchez (Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda), shared their vision of innovation in urban mobility challenges, especially those related to last-mile logistics and how autonomous technologies could help solve them.

In parallel to the pilot demonstration, citizens present on-site were interviewed to study the acceptance of Ona by road users and pedestrians. The answers to the survey will be analysed and the results will help the consortium members understand the impact that autonomous technologies have on cities and citizens.

Many lessons have been learned during this first pilot of Ona in the Can Vidalet neighbourhood, highlighting the importance of piloting in real-world environments. One of the main learnings was that advanced positioning techniques on digital maps have to be tuned and used in the next pilots. Relying on GPS data to navigate autonomously was not sufficient because of the presence of high buildings in the surroundings which hugely decreased the quality of the GPS signal.

All these insights will help us improve Ona and her integration with the back-end control center before the second validation pilot, which will take place in Debrecen in November. In the meantime, our colleagues from NFF will be piloting their Autonomous Hub Vehicle (AHV) in cooperation with ITS Hamburg in October.

The LogiSmile project, co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility, is developed under the lead of CARNET in close collaboration with Area Metropolitana de Barcelona, Capgemini Engineering, DKV Debrecen, Esplugues de Llobregat City Council, ITS Hamburg, Last Mile Autonomous Delivery, NFF – TU Braunschweig, Otostolik, PTV Group, Dirección General de Tráfico, UPC-IRI, and UPC-CDEI.