Kick Off ART-Forum in Bremen

25 November 2019 - Published by Torben Quickert
The Kick-Off Meeting from ART-Forum took place in Bremen. The automated road transport in the North Sea Region are getting started. An interesting programme ensured that the partners got to know the Interreg structures and the partners.

On 24 – 26 April 2019, the new Interreg project ‚ART Forum‘ (Automated Road Transport – Forum for the North Sea Region) has its kick-off meeting in the German City of Bremen. The project will investigate potential impacts of automated road transport and its interaction with mobility and spatial planning. 

Whereas there are already a number of projects dealing with technical questions of automated driving, there is a huge deficit in dealing with potential impacts and interaction with urban development and mobility planning.Driving on highways is becoming safer and more convenient by driver assistance systems and automation – but there is no information whether this is leading to increasingly using the car use. There is as well little published modelling how computer-steered cars will interact with cyclists and pedestrians in same street space.

What is the potential, what are risks and side effects of automated transport? What is its role for urban transport and what for freight transport on highways? Which planning tools and regulations need to be developed to exploit the benefits (e.g. road safety) and to mitigate at the same time the risks (e.g. increase of mileage travelled)? The project ART Forum will deal with these questions. 

The partners were welcomed by Dr. Joachim Lohse, Bremen Minister (Senator) for Environment, Urban Development and Transport and the host of the meeting: „Everyone is talking about autonomous transport – but little is known about acceptance and interaction with societal aspects like sustainable mobility planning or urban development. It is not yet known how computer-steered cars – willed to stop for obstacles - will interact with manually steered cars – where a lot of testosterone might be a fuel. Another important question is, whether we will be able to reclaim street space from cars or whether there will be a further increase of motorised traffic".

After a brief introduction of the partner, they got informed about general ART-Forum objectives, its structure and communication strategies, activities, and project outcomes. The North Sea Region Programme Secretaries, Sarah Holson and Annemieke Feikens presented to project partners on the foundation of the Interreg NSR Programme, its overall goals, rules and regulations. . Each partner presented their planned ideas while participating in ART-Forum. 

After discussing formalties at the second day, the project partners spent the afternoon at the University of Bremen’s Centre for Technomathematics to learn more about practical applications of mathematics and even had the opportunity to ride in the University’s semi-autonomous Volkswagen Passat GTE. In addition, the group learned how automated technologies are applied to many different areas, including logistical and aerospace fields through the use of scenario simulation and robots. On the last day of the project meeting included a presentation by Michael regarding the mirage of autonomous urban transport and its ambiguous future. Later, project partners formed into groups to discuss the various challenges and possibilities the implementation of automated road transport may present in urban, semi-urban and rural areas. 

The Kick-Off was a great success. The partners had a great time together, with interesting conversation and activities.