Early this spring, the Transport Area of Advance announced two calls: one for one-year projects in the fields of Electromobility and Autonomous transport, and one for two-year projects within Transition to the transport system of the future.
“With these calls, we wanted to encourage new interdisciplinary collaborations,” says Kajsa Hulthén.
To nurture interdisciplinary collaborations lies in the nature of the Area of Advances. And the result was successful, she says:
“It’s amazing to see that the research projects span a very wide range – from technology oriented to projects more oriented to social science – and gather researchers from 7 of Chalmers’ 13 departments. We also note that people who have never worked together before, will now do so in these projects.”
Logistics, ferries and e-commerce
The projects focus on, for example, electric ferries, obstacles and opportunities in the implementation of self-driving vehicles, new gearbox technology in electric cars, safety for electric bicycles you rent on the streets, environmental impact of coastal boats, integration of transport and electrical systems, the introduction of automated logistics systems, challenges in getting people to share vehicles, segregation due to growing e-commerce, lack of materials for future cars – and much, much more.
Incoming projects were evaluated by three persons from each profile area within the Area of Advance – Sustainable Vehicle Technologies, Transport Efficiency and Customer Adapted Logistics, Traffic Safety – including the profile leaders. Based on this evaluation, decisions were then made by the management team of the Transport Area of Advance.
Four criteria for assessment
The assessments were made on the basis of four criteria: the contribution of the project to the Area of Advance Transport’s vision – for example regarding expected benefits, possibilities to promote research collaborations, or potential for obtaining future external funding – how the project relates to the thematic areas, the addition to the research area made by collaborations between researchers, and the clarity of the interdisciplinary aspect.
“Although there’s a big difference in project scopes, the assessment group had a relatively large consensus on which projects to fund,” says Kajsa Hulthén.
The projects will be made available on the website research.chalmers.se, and followed up through a mid-term and a final report.
“We also hope to take part of some interesting results along the way, as the researchers present their work on various events arranged by the Area of Advance, such as lunch seminars, our “alla-forskar-dagar” and Initiative seminars,” Kajsa Hulthén concludes.
Text: Mia Malmstedt