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Driverless cars take to the road

Our cities and roads are becoming overcrowded with traffic and, in the future, we will need sustainable urban transportation systems. In five cities across Europe, an EU-funded project has revealed to the general public the potential of automatic vehicles for coping with urban traffic congestion.
Driverless cars take to the road
With more and more traffic, European roads are becoming increasingly congested, polluted and unsafe. One potential solution to this growing problem is the use of small, automated, low-polluting vehicles for driverless transport in cities. However, so far the widespread adoption of such systems has been hampered by a lack of knowledge about their costs and benefits.

It is not only drivers and the general public who need to be informed about the advantages of automated transport systems – city planners and decision makers need advice as well. The 'City network for fair mobility' (Citynetmobil) project organised events to publicise the advantages of such systems.

Transport systems for driverless cars – that is road, vehicles with fully automated driving capabilities, or cybercars – have been proven to be technically feasible, well performing, energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Generally speaking, they are also well received by users, financially neutral and socioeconomically viable.

To raise awareness and thereby increase acceptance of cybernetic transportation systems, five cities were selected to demonstrate cybercars, hold conferences and present exhibitions: Clermont-Ferrand (France), Formello (Italy), Ixelles (Belgium), Antibes and Agglo Sophia-Antipolis (France) and Reggio Calabria (Italy).

Following the awareness-raising events, two of the participating cities are now planning to set up an experimental cybernetic transportation system. However, much more investment in infrastructure will be required before traffic congestion is reduced significantly in all of our cities.

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