ADAS, Interviews, Smart Mobility, Vehicle Automation

KTH: A test site to explore future mobility

Anna Pernestål
Senior Researcher at Integrated Transport Research Lab, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Anna Pernestål
Senior Researcher at Integrated Transport Research Lab, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

we.CONECT Market Research & Intelligence spoke with Anna Pernestål from KTH Royal Institute of Technology about the company’s relation to the evolution of ADAS, the biggest hurdles with regards to vehicle automation and possible roles for the driver of the future.

Annas interest is to use data and information for innovation and development of systems, services and business. She has nearly 15 years of experience from transport, both road and rail, and has worked with research and innovation as well as management and business development. Her strength is within understanding both technology and business, and how they are connected. Another topic of interest is asset management and maintenance, where she has developed and implemented new maintenance strategies. She has a PhD in systems engineering, where the scope was probabilistic fault diagnosis.

we.CONECT: What is your company’s relation to the evolution of ADAS, vehicle automation and new mobility concepts?

Anna Pernestål: Integrated Transport Research Lab (ITRL) is a research center at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm focusing on future sustainable transports. Vehicle automation and new mobility concepts are core in our research portfolio. Of course technology research and development is important for realizing these new concepts, but another, equally important aspect is on how the technology should function in society, how it is accepted by users and how services and business are formed. This is the main focus of the ITRL research center.

According to your opinion what are the big hurdles towards autonomous driving that need to be surpassed by different stakeholders? How should they be resolved?

At the moment testing and deployment at public streets is one main hurdle – to get the AV systems functioning in big scale they need to be tested on public streets, but with that comes a lot of challenges and need for legislation changes. It is easy to just say “change legislation”, but it is challenging: are the new systems safe? Under what conditions? Who is responsible if something happens? How is it with privacy and integrity? One way to handle this obstacle is to create policy labs and test sites with a mixture of stakeholders involved.

Which specific challenges are currently lying ahead of your work with regards to vehicle automation?

ITRL is currently creating such a policy lab / test site. One challenge is the many stakeholders involved – it is necessary to have several stakeholders involved, but it is also challenging. We see a transformation of mobility, which changes the business eco system and possibly also the roles of old and new stakeholders. This opens up for great opportunities but also leads to challenges and competition between organizations.

How will autonomous driving technology change mobility according to your expectations?

AD has the possibility to contribute to new sustainable and shared solutions, for example by complementing public transport. I hope this will come true, although I’m not sure it will. There are also several forces towards continued private car ownership/driving.

Which role is the ‘driver’ going to play in the future with regards to driver-vehicle interaction?

I see two scenarios (that can be parallel):

1) in private use the driver is responsible to drive the car between certain “areas” where the cars is self driving, e.g. drive to and from the highway or to and from the parking garage.

2) AD used in shared services has the driver remotely places. Infrastructure is set so that the vehicles are self driving to a very large extent within a set area, but if something happens a remote driver can take over control.

Please explain in brief the key aspects of your presentation at the Automotive Tech.AD 2017 in Berlin.

I will discuss the learnings from our work with the Connected Mobility Arena in Stockholm – a collaborative work to create a test site for shared automated driving. I will share results so far, but also experiences from the collaborative work.

Which expectations do you have towards the event? What do you expect to gain from the exchange with participating experts and companies (e.g., OEMs, suppliers)?

I’m looking forward to gaining new contacts and perspectives on automated driving, and also to begin new collaborations.

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