The SHOW project is unique in many ways, one of them being our 69-strong consortium. Our SHOW partners come from every corner of the transport sector across the EU, each bringing their own strengths and knowledge to the table. Safe to say we want you to meet them!

Next up is VIRTUAL VEHICLE Research (VIF), an international R&D center for the automotive and rail industries. We spoke to Joachim Hillebrand, Team Leader Embedded Systems at VIF.

Can you tell us a bit more about your role in the SHOW project?
VIRTUAL VEHICLE has two important roles in the SHOW project. First, we are the leader of Work Package 10, where we are responsible for all simulation activities in SHOW. Simulations play an important role in SHOW, because not everything can be demonstrated in the real demo sites. With the simulations we are able to investigate scenarios that are too dangerous to be tried (e.g. dense traffic) or we can analyse a larger number of automated vehicles. The second activity we are leading is the Graz demonstration site, which is part of the Austrian Megasite. Here we are using automated research vehicles as a shuttle service between a public transport terminal and a shopping centre. It will be very interesting to see how automated vehicles behave in a busy bus terminal.

 How do you see the role of automation in advancing sustainable mobility?

More sustainable mobility in today’s crowded cities can only succeed if we manage to reduce the number of vehicles without reducing the comfort for citizens. And this is where automated vehicles will offer great opportunities. They don’t have to be picked up, they come to you. You don’t have to have your own car or find a parking space. And you don’t have to have a driving license either. It’s as convenient as a taxi, but affordable for the general public.

Why do you consider a project such as SHOW important for the sector?
The SHOW collaboration is very important because it brings together the important actors in the field. We can try out novel automated driving approaches in different cities and different cultures in Europe. With the diverse experiences that we collect in this way, we can ensure that viable solutions are found in this complex environment.

In what aspect do you expect SHOW to have the biggest impact?
Automated driving is still an immature field, full of prejudices reported in press articles, unproven claims by technology players and technological and legal risks. SHOW’s impact will reveal what is realistically possible in European cities and what is not.