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Why closed environments can be used as a steppingstone towards the full potential of AV 

 

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) have the potential to shape urban life and significantly modify travel behaviors. When one thinks of AVs, it is therefore difficult not to imagine the world of tomorrow. While a driverless future might be easy to imagine, its full potential is yet to be reached.

 

Legal restrictions and the technological readiness level of AV limit the current capabilities of AV. While many use cases for AV are limited due to these barriers, the deployment of AV solutions in closed environments can be seen as the first steps to unlocking AV’s full value.

 

 

Currently, AV technology is assessed at an automation level 4: high automation, meaning that the vehicle can perform all driving functions under certain conditions. The driver can take control of the vehicle if necessary. In order for AV technology to reach automation level 5: full automation, theEuropean Road Transport Research Advisory Council(ERTRAC) states that the following steps are necessary:
 
  • systems replacing the driver’s control of the vehicle
  • systems providing the vehicle with real-time information on the state of the vehicle and the surrounding area; • driver readiness monitoring systems
  • accident data recorder for automated vehicles

The implementation of AV in closed environments can act as an ideal testing ground to further develop automation technology and pave the way towards fully automated solutions.

Currently, strict legislation is implemented on regarding open road testing of AVs, limiting the use of AVs to sparsely populated areas on fixed routes. Closed environment deployment offers less hurdles for the implementation of AV, as compliance with strict public road laws is not required. Not only is the deployment area not as confined in closed environments, licensing and insurance documents also become easier to obtain.
 
Currently the real value of AV can therefore be realized in closed environments. Use cases include: 
  • university campuses
  • hospital campuses
  • business parks
  • airports
  • ports
AV services in these closed environment deployment areas offer a multitude of benefits to clients. First it allows for theadaptationto various passenger profiles(persons with reduced mobilitycapabilities), additionally AV deployment lowers the site’s carbon footprint due to its 100% electric autonomous system. Furthermore, AV deployment enhances the company’s brand image by offering customised designs perfectly-suited to its environment andclients.