A major milestone for automated vehicles (AVs) was reached last week with the launch of the SHOW (SHared automation Operating models for Worldwide adoption) project. Coordinated by UITP, SHOW brings together 69 partners from 13 EU countries to support the deployment of shared, connected and electrified automation in urban transport across a four-year period.

With a total budget of €36 million, SHOW is the biggest ever European project piloting AVs in urban environments, with over 20 cities hosting demonstrations.

The arrival of AVs represents a unique opportunity for a fundamental change in urban mobility. That is, when AVs are integrated into an already cohesive public transport network. If AVs are put to use in shared fleets, they could dramatically reduce the number of cars on the road by reaching people and places it was too difficult to before, plugging first/last-mile gaps and feeding into public transport trunk lines.

The H2020 project will look at different aspects of AVs and how they can best contribute to sustainable mobility: for example,how can we guarantee that users will accept the arrival of AVs? What are the legal, operational and ethical limitations of AVs? And what are viable business models regarding AVs?

These (and many other) questions will be answered through setting up demonstration fleets in urban and peri-urban traffic environments. SHOW will see real-life urban demonstrations taking place in 20 cities across Europe, in which – alongside transport – other industries such as telecom and IT will be involved. And SHOW goes beyond EU-borders, as twinning actions are planned with 11 organisations from the USA, South Korea, Australia, China, Taiwan and Singapore.