The 1st ARIADNA webinar titled “Space for Green & Resilient Cities” took place last 11 December from 10am to 12pm. Following is a wrap-up including the full recording of the session, as well as links to the presentations and a summary of them:

  • Overview about GALILEO – Daniel Lopour, Market Development Officer at the GSA

[link to presentation]

Daniel pointed out that ARIADNA is one of the first EU projects addressing mobility and public transport in urban environments, within the EU Green Deal agenda context.

Galileo contributes to improve availability and accuracy thanks to its multi-constellation, multi-frequency and multi-path enhanced features, increasing the robustness of the solution and enhancing further value propositions for urban public players.

With regards to the deployment and how the localization applications performance can be improved within Green cities, companies should require specific configurations from the solution providers.

  • Introduction on Copernicus – Cristina Ananasso, Seconded National Expert at European Commission

[link to presentation]

Cristina explained that Copernicus is the EU Earth Observation Programme, which aims to deliver added value products and information. Enhances the use of climate data to actionable information that can be used by the final user for multiple applications. It includes land monitoring services with global, panEuropean and local components. With regards to the local components, if offers a 3D urban atlas. Another example, is the Urban Green landscape to cities, municipalities and local administration.

  • Key value propositions of GALILEO in Public Transport – Sergi Paniagua, ITS Project Manager at Pildo Labs

[link to presentation]

Sergi introduced the White Paper in EGNSS technology in Urban Mobility and Public Transport, which is currently in final internal revision and will be published by the ARIADNA project early 2021.  The objectives of the White Paper are to educate about Galileo, illustrate EGNSS benefits and guide its exploitation to mobility players and public administrations.

Moreover, Sergi exemplified the multiple GNSS applications focusing on the bus service and highlighting its use for fleet management, sharing information with users, service quality control and impact on urban environment, to name a few.

Following on the bus service example, Sergi explained the real case of TMB, the Barcelona public transport operator, comparing a GPS unique receiver solution to a solution combining multi-constellation and reckoning technologies, testing the bus service under a realistic approach. The new receiver worked very well compared to the old one, as the new solutions followed the road very well and the trajectory was much better.

Problems such as tall buildings, tunnels and depot logistics were minimized with the new solution.

The results were summarized as a more efficient depot operations, from 40-60m to 2-5m errors, valid positioning (+7%) and more accurate and real time information.

  • Use of EU Space Data & Services in urban mobility – Josep Laborda, CEO & Managing Partner at Factual.

[link to presentation]

Josep started reminding ARIADNA objectives (rise awareness, build the capacity and facilitate EGNSS deployment) especially for public transport in cities. With a worldwide approach as not only targets Europe, but aims to teach all decision makers in the world as Galileo facilitates more resilient and green cities.

Within ARIADNA project, a the Space 4 Cities stakeholders group has been created with more than 20 players including public transport authorities, public transport operators, technology providers, etc. It is open and free of charge, as the rest of services offered by the project, such as expert support, technical guidance, networking and capacity building, among others.

Josep also described the results of the online survey launched to assess how stakeholders addresses the needs of more efficient mobility, particularly for public transport. Some of the “unsurprising” answers of the 70 respondents worldwide, points out that geolocation data is the most used space data for planning and operating mobility services, that there is room for improvement in promoting and recognizing the use of Galileo (as it is fully deployed and is not complex or costly), and finally that geolocation data will improve existing mobility services and enable new ones during the COVID-19 crisis and recovery phase.

Josep also highlighted the great participation in the 1st online Hackathon organized within the project and the two winners, SENSE4AIR and HAMBA (they will participate in the UITP World Public Transport Summit in Melbourne, Australia, next year).

Moreover, Josep pointed out the importance to require the introduction of Galileo in future public procurement processes and tenders and the need of companies for space data to achieve more sustainable cities and transportation, as part of their go Green strategy.

  • Conclusions of the “GALILEO for Mobility” project – Marti Jofre, COO & Managing Partner at Factual

[link to presentation]

Experts’ point of view

  • Feedback on achievable GNSS performance in Prague tramway network – Vaclav Navratil, Czech Technical University in Prague

[link to presentation]

After an introduction of the Prague tramway network main figures and an overview of their GNSS test programme from December 2019 to September 2020, Vaclav remarked that the main benefit from GNSS positioning is safety and the reduction of accidents followed by environmental comfort, passenger comfort and operational benefits.

With regards to the choice of GNNSS technology, stated that always should be multi-constellation, at least GPS + Galileo is required (but the more the better) and the importance to balance performance (enabled applications) and operation costs.

Vaclav also highlighted that to succeed in the geolocation in urban environments meter level accuracy, interference immunity, assessment in real conditions, compatibility with all vehicle types and reasonable unit costs and operations costs are key and concludes that between accuracy and precision, the pursue should be first accuracy and then precision.

[link to presentation]

Reby is a Spanish startup founded in 2018 that designs and distributes shared electric vehicles, that has invested in a GPS GNASS module to offer a safe ride, offer complementary services (such as providing information of the pollution at the street level), respond to the increasing limitations of public space and local regulations and to enhance a positive impact in the communities.

They highlighted that geolocation data tends to be “messy” as micromobility  is challenging (each city has their own restrictions and depending on the vehicle type three are different assumptions). Moreover, imprecise geolocation may hurt the business from a user, operations and business point of view. Also, it is very stressing to fix the data received when it is not precise.

Therefore, they stated that geolocation is the only way to have things under control and being precise is a must as sometimes a few meters makes a difference. Geolocation data is used both from the vehicle and the user and is also used for deployment. Cities are moving to designated parking areas, enquiring the users to park responsibly within very small areas, and nowadays geolocation within 4m is far from precise especially in dark areas. Good geolocation offers additional innovation tasks in these big new issues, such as parking and the designated lanes.

To conclude they requested all mobility players to reinforce good behavior, vehicles to be equipped with more sensors and that there are extreme user cases when geolocation is a MUST: collision avoidance. They are also participating in a large European project to provide a system able to provide wide pollution maps from the ground.

  • GNSS & GALILEO opportunities for urban mobility – Michel Monnerat & Hanaa Al Bitar – Radionavigation System Engineers at Thales Alenia Space Q&A session

Michel started reminding everyone the Galileo fourth anniversary, as Galileo was launched December 2016.

Then, the GNSS and Galileo urban mobility applications were explained, highlighting the necessity to identify mobility needs, optimise flows in towns, develop autonomy, improve security and finally standardize the solutions.

Moreover, GNSS is a key tool to analyze the displacements in town and identify and reduce congestions, also allowing a wide and easy deployment.  Michel also pointed out the Galileo unique features (such as NMA or HAS) and the key features required to address these applications: low energy and accuracy.

To conclude, he added that urban mobility requires accuracy, integrity and robustness, and the solution can not rest only in a mere GNSS receiver, but shall be integrated in a whole localization system (5 standards have been developed so far). As next steps, the following actions are prioritized: improve drivers and pedestrians security, ease movements to increase autonomy, and integrate navigation and digital systems.

Q & A

  1. How does one adapt to Galileo?

Daniel: Galileo satellites can last for 12 to 15 years. And they will be updated to new satellites and new components. Therefore, users need to share their needs, requirements to enhance service, from an economic and technical perspective.

  1. Hi Sergi, when you say Old Service, do you mean GPS and New Service, you mean Galileo?

Sergi: Old service means only GPS receiver, and New Service means picking different signals, including Galileo.

  1. For Reby: you mentioned how you have to make sure that your users comply with parking regulations; but is any of the cities where you operate requiring access to your positioning data to detect when vehicles are not parked correctly and fine them or remove them?

Reby: Currently they are not requesting this information specifically. They do request more basic data such as number of users, number of rides, etc. On the other side, they are providing information even more relevant such as the occupation in parkings (to plan if more space is needed) and percentage of trips that are ending properly.

  1. Cristina mentioned that their fleets are equipped with sensors to collect pollution data. I was curious to know more on how they or the local authorities make use of this data. If any specific application you can mention.

Cristina: This refers to a pilot project between the UPC and Terrassa City Hall, as Terrassa is being used as a Lab CITY and Reby is the provider of the technology and the sensors. The objective is to use this data to pacify the streets, and reduce transit and pollution in certain streets, prioritizing the schools areas.