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Social innovation and light electric vehicle revolution on streets and ambient

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Silver Stream (Social innovation and light electric vehicle revolution on streets and ambient)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2018-05-31

The world is currently experiencing two major demographic transitions: the aging of populations and urbanisation. With advances in healthcare and the standard of living, people are living longer and healthier lives. And they are demanding a better quality of life. As a consequence, it is absolutely evident that urban personal mobility is a key topic in “helping seniors live the lives they want to lead”. This is the origin of the SilverStream project. In fact, the majority of individuals over 65 have very similar transportation needs to the needs of the general population, as never before. They travel for shopping, getting to work, for medical appointments and for leisure activities. Nonetheless, they lack transportation solutions that fit their needs – existing cars are not able to adapt to the various levels of capabilities of ageing individuals which means that a priori many potential customers are excluded from the private vehicle market. As a consequence, they are excluded from numerous societal activities and this has a serious impact on their quality of life, on the quality of life of the people they must depend on, and on the ageing process itself which is lived negatively. Offering a private vehicle solution that can adapt to its user and empower its user to fulfil his/her everyday needs and aspirations is a ground-breaking approach to inclusion and healthy ageing.

The ambitious ultimate goal of SilverStream was to develop and make available a radically new L6e vehicle in the field of urban personal mobility for elderly people. In particular, SilverStream developed and demonstrated a radically new light and affordable vehicle concept (L-category) for the aging population in congested European cities with scarce parking space. The starting point for the SilverStream vehicle was the fundamental requirement for providing personal mobility in order to guarantee a high quality level of life and socialization, and, thus, the health and well-being of the society. Freedom of movement provides many social, functional, educational, medical and recreational opportunities to do everything from visiting friends, going shopping and attending theatres, to just going out to get an occasional tea and biscuits. Yet, elder people face significant barriers to personal mobility because of the relentless trend for urbanisation, which implies an overall increased frequency of classical daily operations while a considerable large amount of information must be dealt with; all together, this leads to an higher level of cognitive and physical stress, which represents a major problem for elderly people.

Hence, the SilverStream project combined both ergonomic concepts conceived for elderly people and advanced automotive technologies for improved driveability and energy efficiency. SilverStream was focused on the development of a comprehensive set of technologies covering the whole vehicle, driven by a team of experts in the field of medical and cognitive science domain through a top/down approach, which was integrated into a demonstrator running in a realistic test environment. The vehicle was characterized by:
- stylish L6e MPV for urban mobility and tailored to elderly people’s needs based on space-frame with proven crashworthiness
- modular approach oriented towards product industrialisation thus allowing the development of a family of L vehicles
- advanced ergonomic features (gesture recognition “on air” HMI, adaptive seats, rear e-lift)
- 4WD and increased steering angles for improved manoeuvrability and parking operations based on in-wheel motor technology
- hybrid energy storage system (supercapacitor and Li-Ion battery technology) for improved system life-time
- dual 12/48 V power network and microelectronic technologies for improved efficiency and system integration
The work in all work packages was successfully concluded:
WP1 - System requirements and vehicle architecture definition
WP2 - Vehicle chassis, body and dynamics
WP3 - Hybrid energy storage system
WP4 - e-Drive Train
WP5 - HMI and Electronic Control Systems
WP6 - LEV Engineering, demonstrator and test
WP7 - Dissemination and liaison activities

Project partners have been active in continuing the exploitation strategies, dissemination activities, reporting of project‘s contribution towards international standards, and efficient inter-consortium information exchange. Special attention has been paid to ensure continuation and liaison with other related finalized and ongoing projects in the automotive, aeronautics, electro-mobile and autonomous driving sectors (E3Car, 3Ccar, OSEM-EV, CASTOR and MotorBrain). In terms of dissemination of the project information, a user-friendly website has been created ( and regularly updated with news and video material. The consortium is proud to announce that all objectives and intended results have been achieved.
Progress beyond the state of the art:
- Radically new solution for urban personal mobility based on light quadricycles tailored to elderly people needs
- Fully functional demonstrator: European leadership in the automotive sector with a high added value solution
- Fast transfer into real products through an effective design cycle based on the tight interaction with users and the design for reliability methodology ( e.g. quality, robustness, life-time)
- Application and user requirements driven proposal which involves the complete value chain and has a wide perspective beyond automotive applications
- Breakthrough HMI solution based on “gesture recognition in-air” available on light quadricycles improved comfort, for reduced cognitive stress and aggressive target cost
- Hybrid Energy Storage System for improved life-time
- System integration by means of few intelligent electronic clusters enabled by next generation of semiconductor technology
- 4WD by in-wheel motor technology for improved driveability in the urban mission

SilverStream will lead to positive impacts in particular in the sectors semiconductor, automotive systems and health. The availability of a new generation of smart drivers and secure microcontrollers with HW encryption mechanisms for data security opens a huge market window for new applications, also through the cooperation between completely different domains (e.g. automotive, embedded systems, health and wellbeing) especially for SMEs. In the semiconductor market, reliability and efficiency are the key criteria for market gain. All these factors are addressed and strengthened by the project. Here we see an opportunity to strengthen the European market position. It is also worth mentioning that the semiconductor technology has a strong multiplier effect on the microelectronics market. Here, European companies are extremely competitive, holding over 25% of the world-wide market share. The automotive sector alone, has almost 600G€ annual revenue (43% of the world market). Within the automotive sector, 70-80% of all innovations (which are key market driver) depend on electronics – thus finally also on semiconductor industry. Similar considerations are true also for the health, industrial and space sectors. As a consequence the market relevance additionally multiplies with its applications by 80 times. Strengthening the European semiconductor industry will ensure European system competency along this value chain.