60th Digital Dialog | Special: Autonomous Driving and Smart Mobility

v.l.t.r.: Robert Schmied (Mobility Lab), Barbara Fl├╝gge (digital value creators), Gerhard Krachler (Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik), Christina Henrich (Silicon Alps), Horst Bischof (TU Graz), Franz Prettenthaler (JOANNEUM RESEARCH), Matthias R├╝ther (JOANNEUM RESEARCH), Gerhard Greiner (ALP.Lab)

That was the 60th. Digital Dialogue!

In the wonderful surroundings of the cultural-historical GrazMuseum, the Silicon Alps Cluster, together with the innovation laboratory ALP.Lab, hostedthe 60th Digital Dialogue on the subject of “Autonomous Driving and Smart Mobility”.

Special workshop with depth

For the first time in the history of this successful series of events, there was an in-depth workshop on this exciting and contemporary topic in the early afternoon, focusing on the design of tomorrow’s city. It was led interactively and collaboratively by Barbara Fl├╝gge (digital value creators), an expert in the field of Smart Mobility and editor of several books published by Springer Verlag, which have become the standard aid for the development of mobility concepts with Smart Mobility building blocks for intelligent mobility. Numerous workshop participants developed persona profiles and scenario-oriented role models, taking into account a fictitious city model. The special workshop was supported by JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik, MOBILITY LAB Grazand Silicon Alps.

The 60th Digital Dialogue in the GrazMuseum

The evening event of the 60th Digital Dialog was all about smart and urban mobility. The GrazMuseum, in the heart of the city of Graz, provided the perfect setting. As a platform for contemporary urban themes, it presents exhibitions and collections that deal with both history and the present and future of the city of Graz. Deputy Director of the GrazMuseum Sibylle Dienesch, together with Gerhard Greiner (ALP.Lab), welcomed the large audience and announced the museum’s future focus on urban digitisation for 2020.

The impact of smart mobility in its various facets

With the title “Disturbing Human Factor? Human factors in automated mobility”, Matthias R├╝ther (JOANNEUM RESEARCH DIGITAL) highlighted the “uncertain” role of humans – from complete control over autonomous vehicles to complete uselessness as uninvolved road users. The effects of highly automated driving on people are ambivalent. The spectrum ranges from a lack of trust caused by stressful situations to exaggerated optimism about the technology. But how can producers build people’s trust in autonomous vehicles? Through adapted vehicle design or by people actually giving up driving control and engaging in other activities? On this point, the Human Factor Lab examines the passenger’s attention. Through analyzes of the gaze activity in the simulator and in real traffic, JOANNEUM RESEARCH investigates the behaviour of the person in traffic and in their surroundings. The conclusion is that the human being will always play a role, especially with regard to a “crisis manager” in dangerous, unpredictable situations.

In his rousing lecture Gerhard Krachler (Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik) presented the People Mover concept as an on-demand mobility model. The Smart Mobility Solution aims to set new standards in individual and public transport.

The Urban Living Lab uses multi-agent transport simulation to investigate existing transport systems and mobility behaviour in Carinthia. Franz Prettenthaler (JOANNEUM RESEARCH LIFE) discussed some results of the first comprehensive Smart Tracking Model in Austria in his lecture “Which traffic models does automated mobility need”. In principle, it is the location or infrastructure that decides on the best use of the vehicle. In order to develop an optimal traffic model – especially with regard to automated vehicles – the data is crucial.

Smart Mobility expert, Barbara Fl├╝gge, posed the essential question of whether autonomous cars and intermodal transport are the solution or a contradiction. Basically, we need three to four hours if we want to move from A to B within the EU. But which means of transport do we really want to use and how do we decide which means of transport we actually use? The “budget comfort target” decision triangle plays an important role here. If we have a higher budget. we want more comfort; therefore people are rather less willing to travel intermodally. Another important decision-making aid should be seen in terms of availability, reliability and freedom of choice. We don’t want to expend three to four hours, especially considering our different needs. Autonomous vehicles are mobility enablers and can ensure a variety of different activities. So we can shop, relax, learn or even live while driving. Autonomous vehicles therefore create habitats. There is much to be said for autonomisation, such as the reduction of emission values, etc. In the USA, on the other hand, in-car living has a negative connotation because it is associated with the attribute of poverty. The acceptance aspects can be both experience-led and experience-felt. In the future, these will determine which means of transport and which degree of automation we will use and whether we will actually use the means of transport again. For the second acceptance aspect, the public sector is called upon to introduce a uniform mobility management system, especially for structurally weak, burdened, growing and neglected areas.

Together, we can do that.

The subsequent panel discussion was a tense one. Horst Bischof (TU Graz) interjected that not the best technology will win, but the best concept. But this would only work through very good networks, because one is too small alone. Robert Schmied (Mobility Lab) explained that the mobility turnaround is unstoppable and that the exchange won’t only be from fossil to electrical energy, but will be inter- and multimodal. It was generally agreed that public transport plays and will play a major role in transport. Smart mobility can only gain in an ideal case through two essential aspects. First, by the willingness to collaborate and second, by the willingness to use several modes of transport from A to B. The question as to whether autonomous driving would bring more vehicles onto the road could not be clarified unambiguously by the experts. We’re not ready yet. Whatever happens remains exciting.

After the lively discussion we seamlessly moved on to the cosy networking part, where numerous conversations, different views and opinions were lively exchanged. As a special highlight,Infineon‘s LiDar sensor technology was tested and demonstrated to the guests during the event. Lidar, radar and cameras are the key technologies in semi and fully automated vehicles, with Infineon leading the way in this field.

Barbare Fl├╝gge | Autonome Autos & intermodaler Verkehr – L├Âsung oder Widerspruch? (German)