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TRANSPORT-Transport 2025

Autonomous Universal Transport Of People In Viken County Council

Alternative title: Universell selvkjørende transport i Viken Fylkeskommune

Awarded: NOK 5.4 mill.

Project Number:


Project Period:

2020 - 2022

Funding received from:



For most of us, everyday logistics are challenging. We lead busy lives commuting to work, driving children to football practice and visiting grandparents. Through AUTOPIA, our aim was to simplify people's everyday logistics by using advanced technology and a new form of mobility geared for the future. Our intention was to demonstrate the benefits of shared, automated vehicles into an existing system of conventional public transport. The introduction of self-driving vehicles may affect our transport network in different ways. If all private cars were to become self-driving, this could have a dramatic negative effect on the number of kilometers driven and potentially lead to a collapse of the current traffic system. On the other hand, if a fleet of smaller, shared automated vehicles were to be combined with existing high-capacity public transport, more people would be able to leave their private car at home and reduce the number of kilometers driven on roads. AUTOPIA’s goal was to demonstrate the benefits of this latter scenario, aiming to influence the introduction of automated vehicles in the right direction. AUTOPIA integrated shared, automated vehicles into the existing public transport service within a geographically defined area. The purpose was to offer a flexible, customer-centered type of public transport service that covered various travel needs for several user groups, thus reducing the need for private cars in the area. The partnership comprised leading companies providing access to current state-of-the-art technology, competence critical for implementation and access to real-world traffic environments for trialing. With this as a starting point, AUTOPIA contributed to the development of automated vehicles, working towards reducing emissions from passenger cars and the number of vehicles on our roads, improving road safety and providing more accessible, flexible and sustainable mobility services for everyone. The AUTOPIA project concluded that self-driving vehicles can handle Nordic winter conditions, which is a big step towards providing real customer value in areas with cold winters. The vehicles achieved significantly higher speeds than previous pilots where the maximum speed had been 18 km/h. The vehicles in the pilot achieved speeds of up to 30 km/h and were allowed to drive on roads with speed limits of up to 40 km/h. The pilot maintained the goal of 0-zero injuries or accidents during the project. AUTOPIA resulted in learning in the form of customer acceptance of self-driving vehicles, maturity of regulatory bodies, improved competence on the role of self-driving vehicles in future mobility planning and support functions, and contributed to faster market introduction of self-driving vehicles. The main goal of validating the benefits of a fleet of shared, self-driving vehicles in real operation was not achieved through the project. The maturity of the digital driver available for the project prevented the goal of reaching unmanned operation. The vehicle platform (the car itself) was another decisive factor that prevented driverless operation. In the future, AUTOPIA recommends verifying that the vehicle platform has sufficient capabilities for integration with the digital driver and that the vehicle platform has sufficient redundancy. Delayed deliveries (Covid-19) of electric vehicles also prevented testing of on-demand functionality during real driving in a geographic area. The ordering functionality was therefore tested by simulating orders of transportation in a fine-grained network of routes in the pilot area, so that on-demand learning could be achieved in the project. The learning from the AUTOPIA collaboration is documented in a larger number of learning reports. These cover various themes such as universal design of self-driving vehicles, winter operation, interaction with other traffic, results from user interviews/surveys and more. The learning reports are described in the end of the report and will be available in full on Ruter's website.

The AUTOPIA project showcased that AVs realistically can handle Nordic winter conditions, which is a ground breaking step towards providing real customer value in areas with cold winters. AUTOPIA also realized benefits in terms of customer acceptance of AVs and the demonstrated service at site, development of regulatory bodies, enhanced competencies on AVs’ role in future mobility planning and supporting functions, as well as contributing to faster market introduction of AVs. The project partners had complementary coverage in various functional areas and worked to realize the innovations of AUTOPIA in their respective domains, such as public transport authority, road owner, technological expert on AVs or as research institution. The following long-term changes in society can be expected as the results from AUTOPIA are realized in larger scale, to other geographical areas and through dissemination activities 1) Improved and more inclusive mobility for all 2) Reduction of kilometers travelled by private cars 3) Reduced congestion in urban areas 4) Freeing of urban space 5) Improved road safety 6) Facilitated public-private partnership and building of capabilities.

AUTOPIA is aimed at assessing and demonstrating the benefits of incorporating fleets of shared connected automated electric vehicles to public transport systems. The project will validate the potential of the concept to result in safer, more affordable and greener urban mobility, supporting the long-term goal of healthier, more accessible, sustainable and liveable cities. Recent analysis carried out for Lisbon (IFT study) and Oslo (COWI study) have estimated that the adoption of MaaS fleets of automated vehicles could reduce CO2 emissions up to 62% (Lisbon case) and the number of vehicles up to 84-93% (Oslo case). This shows the impact potential of the reduction of private cars on congestion, air pollution and freeing up urban space, whilst reducing energy consumption and resources used for production of vehicles globally. The project is promoted by a complementary group of public and private partners that will jointly move beyond the limitations of theoretical studies and limited small-scale pilots with slow-speed vehicles. AUTOPIA will demonstrate a fleet of highly capable vehicles with the prospect of solving peoples’ everyday mobility in an enclosed geographical area. Only when a mobility service of high enough quality is in place it could be possible to learn how customer behaviour can be changed sustainably in the direction of the estimated beneficial scenarios. The most critcial R&D challenges would be the deployment of new vehicle technology as a stable service integrated with existing public transport network and obtaining the customer acceptance of such services. The AUTOPIA project has leading partners in key functional domains which not only ensures access to critical competenices for implementation and close customer access, but each organization would also be a critical player in realizing the innovation potential following concultion of the project.

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Funding scheme:

TRANSPORT-Transport 2025