Smart cities for smart cars: how unmanned vehicle technology is evolving

Robin De Keyser, Orange: “While we drive, we rest”

For unmanned vehicles to ride in the city,

need infrastructure. First of all, 5G network coverage for instant data exchange with the city. Wide roads, open city planning will be required. Of course, not everyone can build a city from scratch, make it smart right away, as they do in Saudi Arabia. On the narrow streets in old Europe, some kind of hybrid is more appropriate: a person controls the city, and a car takes control of the highway.

Robin De Keyser - Director of Business Solutions and Innovation OrangeBusiness Services He has degrees in programming and accounting. He has held senior positions at FNAC Belgium, KPN and Hewlett Packard. In 2005, Robin joined Orange Business Services and went from a project manager in Belgium to a project manager in Dubai. From May 2015 to July 2018, he served as the head of consulting and was responsible for the development of smart cities and digital transformation projects for Orange Business Services clients in the MENAT region (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey). In August 2018, Robin was appointed Director of Business Solutions and Innovations in Russia and the CIS. His main goal in this capacity is to develop a team and competencies for creating innovative solutions for large Russian and international companies from various industries.

Still need to develop user experience -offer the customer a usage scenario, tell us that while the car is traveling, you can relax, work and even have fun. For example, I like to drive, because I like control. Manufacturers have the task to offer an understandable product with unique user experience.

I will give a simple example. Launched a product - a mobile phone. Technology has evolved, the product has become cheaper and cheaper. So far, one company has not released a smartphone six times more expensive. The market has changed in one day. People were willing to pay because the product was with a fantastic user experience.

And, of course, the situation involves a legislative framework. It is necessary to organize at the level of city administrations and insurance companies a scheme for the division of responsibility for unforeseen cases.

Robin De Keyser

No less important is standardization. For example, you are testing a car in Germany. In Europe, borders are open, and the car must have the technical ability to travel from Wolfsburg to Paris, from there to Brussels and back to Wolfsburg. It is necessary to standardize software, hardware and regulatory framework for all countries.

NEOM city - A smart city project in Saudi Arabia. Positioned as the first fully eco-friendly metropolis using only renewable energy sources. The project’s website says that the city will have a smart transport infrastructure, unmanned passenger transport, and will also introduce all currently known technologies in the field of bioengineering, medicine, education and culture. NEOM introduced in 2017. For 2019, an airport operates in the future city, which in January 2019 accepted the first commercial flight with 130 NEOM project employees. There is no information about the stages of construction of the rest of the infrastructure.

Geert Jonck, Alcatel-Lucent: “Infrastructure needs to be adapted first”

Autonomous mobility is not limitedcars. There is also autonomous freight transport, submarines that lay cable along the ocean floor, or, for example, drones, for which we lay separate LTE and 4G networks higher. Where drones fly, ground networks do not reach.

Although an unmanned vehicle shouldride without a network connection. Yes, it’s convenient to use 5G or Wi-Fi to see the traffic jam, or find a free parking space, but the lack of communication should not immobilize the drone.

Geert Yonk - Senior Vice President, Developing CountriesAlcatel-Lucent Enterprise. He heads the global organization of vertical sales and is engaged in five strategic sectors of ALE: government, hospitality, education, healthcare and transport, and BRICSA growth countries (China, India, Russia, Brazil, South Africa). Has a bachelor's degree in marketing and over 25 years of experience in sales management in the telecommunications industry. Before joining ALE, Geert was involved in sales with Telenorma (Avaya), managing indirect partners at Proximus, and sales at Scarlet and Versatel.

The global auto industry is moving towards autonomousdriving, but there are many steps along the way. First it is driver support and ride adjustment. It will go through several stages, while we relaxed in a chair, giving control to the robot. I’m probably getting old, but today I also couldn’t completely trust the unmanned vehicle.

Geert Yonk

In Belgium, such machines have not yet been tested inpublic space. They are experimenting with drones in large factories and ports. They are launched in an industrial environment, because there the risk is limited. Our country is small, there are many interchanges and exits on the roads. You must first adapt the infrastructure to launch such vehicles in cities. While cars are learning, they are getting better and better. Surely the time will come when we will release them into the traffic stream.

Evgeny Belyanko, GLONASS NP: “Russia has entered the top ten world leaders in the field of autonomous transport”

On the territory of Moscow and Tatarstan legally travel55 vehicles with a high degree of automation. These are Yandex machines; they are operated as part of a legal experiment. Cars go on the road, fulfilling two key conditions. First, they are certified by US. Secondly, a car is insured at a special rate with a liability limit of up to 10 million rubles.

US - Research Institute in the field ofautomotive theory and technology. Engaged in analytics and research. Provides technical expertise and standardization of road transport.

The essence of this experiment is to checkthe readiness of unmanned vehicles and the practice of their use on public roads, without creating any special modes. When we discussed the project, there were different options. They suggested allocating a lane, but we refused this idea, because this does not coincide with the actual operating conditions of unmanned vehicles. They offered to provide a convoy of escorts, but they did not accept it either. Because in the future drones will travel in the stream without any accompaniment, and, accordingly, they need to be tested in the same conditions.

The experiment will expand to the territoryPetersburg, Leningrad Oblast, Vladimir and the regions that are between Moscow and Tatarstan. Operating experience posed several legal issues. This is primarily the distribution of responsibility between the person who is in the car, but does not control him, the owner of the car and the manufacturer.

The issue of separation of responsibilities is the topic of one ofthe hottest discussions in the industry. We have no final decision. Although Volvo, for example, in 2015 announced that it would take responsibility for incidents with its drones, the Comtrans 2019 exhibition, where they presented the Vera project, spoke very carefully about the release of their vehicles on public roads. Volvo said they still prefer to operate trucks in closed areas. For example, for transporting containers from the seaport to a specialized site, where there is not a very high probability of getting into an emergency with serious consequences.

Future Vera Truck Conceptpresented by Volvo at Comtrans 2019. The truck works autonomously, it does not have a cab for a person. In 2015, Hokan Samuelsson, president of Volvo Car Group, at the conference “The future of unmanned vehicles - is it safe?” in Washington declared that Volvo are ready to take responsibility for their cars if they go offline.

When we launched the legal experiment, Russiaentered the top ten world leaders in this field. We are now among the countries where unmanned vehicles drive on roads, albeit in experimental mode. The experiment will end in 2023. Based on his data, we expect adjustments to the rules of the road, and we will also develop a set of regulatory and legal acts that describe the future rules for the operation of highly automated vehicles on Russian roads. After 2023, the experiment will enter the stage of real life.

Unmanned vehicles will definitely go. But for this to happen, society needs to do a lot of work - the automotive industry, the road industry and roadside infrastructure, as well as the people who are responsible for regulatory and technical support. A testing methodology should be created that proves the safety of this technology. In 2015, when everyone started talking about the development of autonomous mobility, there were allegations that by 2020 drones would travel along the Garden Ring. 2020 has already come, and the massive use of drones is not visible.

Evgeny Belyanko

We face a fine line of balance whenintroducing new technology. If you make the requirements too stringent, you can stop progress. At the beginning of the twentieth century, those who rode horses doubted that there would be enough mechanics to service the innovation - cars. On the other hand, it is important not to weaken control. One single unmanned vehicle, which, it’s scary to imagine, drove into the school grounds, will stop the development of this industry for 100 years. When everyone feels that this balance has been found, then the exponential growth of this technology starts.

Frank Hoke, Volkswagen: “While droning is a learning process, albeit in real cities”

Volkswagen conducts a test drive of trucks andpassenger unmanned vehicles. We have test sites in China and the USA. Site testing is easy because we are well prepared. We choose a day with good weather, snow or rain does not interfere, there are no other cars on the site.

To monetize technology, you need to go out withsites in the city. For this, I agree with my colleagues, 5G networks will be required. But not for connecting to an external server, but for the machines to communicate with each other. An unmanned vehicle is essentially a large bootable computer that learns from the environment. There is no driver who hears on the radio about a traffic jam. This information should come from other cars that are in this traffic jam.

Frank Hoke - CIO Volkswagen Group Rus. Head with 40 years of experience in IT, project management, leadership and the automotive industry. In 1979, he began his IT career at Volkswagen as a software engineer for transportation logistics systems. He served as Vice President and IT Director at Gedas USA, Volkswagen IT in the USA, Head of Management and IT Director of FAW-VW in China, Head of After-Sales Service and Diagnostics for Volkswagen Group in Germany and Head of Volkswagen IT in Germany . At the end of 2017, he was appointed head of the department of processes and systems in Russia and acting IT director in the Russian region. Since mid-2019, in parallel, it has been supporting the IT sales and marketing activities of the VW brand in Germany.

I will support the idea of ​​a single standard that willworking the same everywhere - in Russia or the USA, it doesn’t matter. The standard for unmanned vehicles to communicate with each other. Other road users, such as pedestrians, are important. UAVs must have sensors that accurately identify people.

It is necessary to cooperate with the state, with city administrations in order to jointly develop operating rules.

At the first stage, autonomous cars will driveonly where other drones drive. And then, when everyone is convinced that autonomous transport ideally reads traffic lights, pedestrians, they will be ready to fit into the general stream.

We are already testing on the roads, but that’s notcities like New York in the USA with high traffic flow. We are testing in Arizona, where there are not many cars. These are roads where you can let the car go, and it will go alone.

Frank Hoke

Our partners in the USA Argo also test machines inDetroit But while the machines are just learning. They grow like children, are in the process of learning. They need contact with other cars, different roads. In China, we also choose small sites, not Shanghai or Guangzhou. In Russia, there are no our projects yet, although we have a request from Yandex for cars. But, if we provide cars with the inscription Volkswagen, we must be sure that they are completely safe for driving. In Germany, we are testing in Wolfsburg, a small smart city. On Sundays, we stop moving to release drones. But we still have to avoid humans and animals to prevent collisions.

Volcopter - electric quadcopter designed forpassenger transport over short distances. Designed by German startup e-volo. The complexity of control is comparable to the control of a conventional unmanned drone. At the end of the summer of 2019, serial production of urban air taxi based on Volocopter technology was presented. Air taxis will be quiet, safe and fully electric, the manufacturer said.

Today, droning is a learning process,let it take place in real cities. There is a demand for technology in many countries. But while the market is more focused on electric cars, rather than on unmanned ones.

This applies not only to land transportfunds. Let me give you an example of fiberopters, which in 2-3 years can be used as unmanned aerial taxis. The issue is wider than just driving when it comes to unmanned mobility.