German transportation software developer PTV Group is collaborating with a leading French ‘ecomobility’ research institute on a three-year strategic initiative to study the use of autonomous vehicles (AVs) and Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) in smart cities.
Founded in 2014, Vedecom is one of the Institutes for Energy Transition (ITE) established by the French government as part of the Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir (PIA). The ITEs are interdisciplinary platforms that engage in the low-carbon energy transition and bring together industry knowledge through research. They cover the entire innovation process up to demonstration and prototype development. Vedecom belongs to the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ), and its members include companies from the automotive and aviation industries, infrastructure operators and service providers, as well as researchers and scientists.
Vedecom is currently focusing on research and development in the field of MaaS in smart cities, including the integration of AVs and their monitoring in real time, which is where PTV is able to provide valuable assistance, with the appropriate software and expertise. The cooperation between the two organizations will start with a first initiative in which PTV assists Vedecom in modeling a new research area located in the Satory district near Paris. Optimal access routes to the area will be defined using PTV’s software for traffic and pedestrian simulation, Vissim and Viswalk.
The new Satory research area consists of a lab and a circuit where autonomous vehicles can be tested. PTV will also take part in the European Union-funded Coexist research project, which aims to study the driving behavior of AVs in a realistic manner. The project will initially focus on the interaction between semi-automated and conventional vehicles in the transitional period to fully autonomous fleets. PTV’s Vissim microsimulation software will be used to model the test driving program.
In a second step, additional PTV software tools, such as Optima and xServer, may be deployed to enable the smart city platform to supervise access to the area in real time for all transport modes, including AVs.
Florence Prybyla, Vision sales manager for PTV France, commented, “For us, the partnership with Vedecom is an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with high-ranking representatives from industry and science, and actively shape the future of mobility. As we focus on the same issues, such as MaaS for smart mobility in smart cities, this alliance is of particular interest to us.”