On May 12, 2023, around 40 stakeholders from all three Austrian SHOW pilot sites met in Pörtschach am Wörthersee to exchange their assessments and professional opinion on various scenarios of automated mobility services.

The EU-funded SHOW project is one of the largest and most comprehensive initiatives on automated mobility in urban environments. The project involves 70 partners from 13 European countries with pilot operations taking place in 20 cities.

To evaluate the impact of the tested solutions, various methods are used. In addition to collecting data during ongoing operations, continuous user surveys are conducted. Another important element of evaluation is stakeholder workshops, to which individuals from the pilot sites’ environment are invited. The workshop for the Austrian pilot sites took place on May 12, 2023, and followed the MAMCA approach (Multi Actor Multi Criteria Analysis). The stakeholders met at the pilot site Carinthia (SURAAA) and had the opportunity to get to know the automated shuttle.

Representatives from six stakeholder groups participated in the workshop: vehicle users, public interest groups and associations, decision-making authorities or regulators, operators, mobility service providers as well as industry.

The four scenarios

In small groups, based on a business-as-usual scenario, four different scenarios of automated mobility services were discussed:

  • Driverless shuttle for the first/last mile
  • Door-to-door delivery of persons and goods
  • Mass transit AV services
  • Shared robotaxis

Based on their assessments and professional opinions, the participants evaluated the expected negative and positive impacts on road safety, traffic efficiency, energy efficiency, environmental impact, societal impact, employment, social equity and user acceptance.

Stakeholder group entering their ratings. Photo: SURAAA

The groups entered their assessments into an online tool and then the results were presented to all participants. In particular, the differences in assessments among the various stakeholder groups were discussed. Dominik Schallauer, coordinator of the Austrian Mega Site in the SHOW project, explains: “The workshop has shown that there are contrasting views among different stakeholder groups regarding certain criteria. However, all four automation scenarios were attributed a positive impact by all groups overall.”

Presentation of the results. Photo: SURAAA

During the workshop, all four scenarios were discussed under the assumption that the automated mobility services are already technologically mature and functioning smoothly, even though this is not always the case in reality so far. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to learn from the experiences of the pilot operations in the project and identify the areas that still require improvement in order to effectively achieve the positive effects anticipated by the stakeholders.

For more information about the project, please visit: https://show-project.eu/

Results Summary

Overall, all stakeholders considered road safety the most important criteria, considering it a requirement for automation to be implemented. Employment was the least important criteria for most stakeholders, many consider that employment is dynamic and a new status quo will emerge after job losses, gains and transformations as a result of automation.

As for scenarios, we observe that no single scenario is ranked first by all stakeholders. Vehicle users considered shared robotaxis as the best-performing scenario, largely due to the flexibility they offer users. Public transport operators, expectedly, evaluated mass transit AV services, as did the industry group, as both considered this scenario to be the safest and most efficient in terms of traffic, energy and environmental impact. Public interest groups and local authorities preferred the door-to-door shuttle services, while mobility service providers valued first/last mile automated shuttles most relative to other scenarios.

We see that automation is generally positively perceived by all stakeholders, as the business-as-usual scenario consistently scored the lowest across the groups. Overall, automation is considered to bring improvements in access to transport, thus to social equity, but also in safety