Research projects

The research of Area of Advance Transport focuses on the themes Autonomous transportation, Electromobility and Transition to future transportation systems.

The following projects within these themes are currently running:
 

Autonomous transportation and Electromobility

Challenges and needs in future circular material systems for electric and autonomous vehicles
The development towards electrical and autonomous vehicles will trigger an increased use of components such as sensors, cameras, antennas, GPS devices, electronic windows and boards, which contain critical elements. Also, to save weight, and thereby energy, new advanced lightweight materials and composites will be increasingly used. At the same time, legislation and policy calls for higher rate of recycling, and increased share in the upper part of the waste hierarchy. These emergent smart components and materials need both efficient recycling processes and recycling supply chains, effective for all actors of the system.
These needs require efficient recycling and logistics processes, and effective supply chain management to be in place for recycling of components and materials already introduced, and further develop effective recycling systems for these, as well as develop foresight regarding not yet implemented components and materials. The latter is important in order to be able to assess vehicle development from this perspective, possibly guiding manufacturers, and to start developing new recycling systems early. To this end, the two research groups ‘Industrial Materials Recycling’ and ‘Supply and Operations Management’, join forces to develop necessary knowledge.
Project leaders: Britt-Marie Steenari, Mats Johansson
 
Development and evaluation of noble metal-free fuel cell stacks
Fuel cells convert hydrogen gas and air to water with high efficiency in a process that generates electricity that can be used to power electric cars. Roughly 45% of the cost of a state-of-the-art fuel cell stack is due to the platinum alloy catalyst used to run the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. We have developed a noble metal-free catalyst that we will test in a fuel cell stack in this project to evaluate its performance under different operating conditions. This will give us important input needed for fuel cell stack design and integration with a battery pack in a vehicle. It will also provide detailed information about the real power needs of a vehicle under different driving conditions translated into requirements on the catalyst used and help us to improve its performance further.
Project leader: Anders Palmqvist
 
Optimal Usage of Vehicle Battery by Multi-Scale Modelling
The usage of the battery on-board an electric vehicle is largely limited by the Battery Management System (BMS), using estimates of cell conditions to secure safety and avoid premature aging of the battery cells. The aging process that probably has the largest effect on lithium-ion cells today is the build-up of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI), a highly complex process involving a multitude of chemical reactions. In this project, the research groups Condensed Matter Physics and Automatic Control cooperate to make modelling of the SEI on molecular level meet the high level modelling required for the BMS functionality. By that the estimates of the true limitations will be improved and thereby the effective capacity of the battery is increased while at the same time its aging is reduced.
Relevance for UN's Sustainable Development Goals
The improved effective capacity and increased lifetime of lithium ion batteries will reduce the cost and improve the performance of electric vehicles. As a consequence we expect the results to contribute to SDG 13 - Climate Action, by enhancing the transfer towards a fossil free vehicle fleet.
Project leader: Torsten Wik
 
Autonomous and connected trucks for electric distribution (ACTED)
Sweden’s goal of having a sustainable transport and a vehicle fleet totally fossil-free by 2030 has led to a number of initiatives to increase the use of electric vehicles. At the same time the development of new technologies has increased the interest on autonomous freight vehicles and the conditions under which these vehicles would bring about benefits for the private sector and for society. The implications of using autonomous electric vehicles for urban freight transport are numerous and their study requires a multidisciplinary approach. This project seeks to integrate urban freight transport, business modeling, and control with communication engineering to study the problem of Connected and Autonomous and Connected Trucks for Electric Distribution (ACTED) for urban freight transport at level 2, 3 (driver in) and 4 (driver excluded) of driving automation. The study will focus on medium-duty trucks operating from distribution centers to urban environments and smaller vehicles distributing the last-mile within large traffic generators.
Project leader: Balázs Kulcsár
 
A synthetic Sweden decision supporting tool for future urban mobility – Autonomous and electromobility infrastructure planning
The idea behind the project is to use synthetic population models  and large scale agent based modeling to provide a decision support tool for planning of urban infrastructure for mobility with autonomous and electric vehicles. Information from the synthetic population is used to generate activity schedules which are then used to simulate the mobility of people on a normative day. The simulation gives information about the best choice of locations of infrastructure such as charging stations.  The approach has the benefit that one can create future scenarios and explore the effect of interventions in silico. Together with visualization tools, this provides a powerful policy informatics tool for decision makers. We will explore pilot projects together with local stakeholders in Goteborg.
Project leaders: Sonia Yeh, Frances Sprei
 
Automotive 5G Integrated Security and Communications
With the 5th generation of mobile communications (5G), and its evolutions, users will expect the connected society to be available with no limitations, and users will make use of bandwidth-demanding services like augmented reality and virtual office applications, also when on the move.
The vehicle itself is also emerging as a heavy consumer and producer of information that needs to be communicated to the mobile communications network and cloud services like on-line maps and traffic information for its network assisted more-or-less self-driving capabilities.
Another, sofar, unexplored opportunity is to benefit from the fact that modern vehicles are moving multi-sensor systems that are constantly collecting information that could be very useful to support development of smart cities, such as sensing air quality, need for road maintenance, monitoring of noise levels, weather forecasts, traffic congestion levels for route optimization of critical transports, etc., information that municipalities can use to optimize the resource efficiency in the cities towards sustainability, and to implement a better city life in crowded cities.
In this context, future vehicles and transportation systems may play an important role in wireless networks by providing additional communications capabilities and becoming an integrated part of the communications infrastructure to improve capacity and coverage of the operator driven mobile networks.
Against this background, the purpose of this project is to meet the challenges above, and the objective is to explore how to best design integrated security and communications systems for connected vehicles.
Relevance for UN's Sustainable Development Goals
As stated above, the target of the project is to design integrated security and communications systems for connected vehicles, such that they can act as a trusted, reliable and integrated part of the communications infrastructure. As a result, more efficient communications networks are expected and that vehicles can be used as moving multi-sensor systems to collect information for smart cities functionalities. Thus, the project is in particular relevant for SDG 11 - Sustainable cities and communities.  
Project leader: Tommy Svensson
 
Safety in automated driving (ADS): modelling interaction between road-users and automated vehicles
ADS will help understand how humans interact and adapt to automation, so that we can develop automated vehicles that are safe and accepted by all road users. By analyzing how road users behave in the real world, this project will create mathematical models to help automated vehicles understand humans and increase safety. This project will target high-risk traffic situations, such as negotiations of intersections between vehicles and cyclists. The project will last 2-years and combine expertise at Chalmers (M2, E2, and CSE) and Göteborg University.
Relevance for UN's Sustainable Development Goals
Worldwide, over one million people die every year in traffic accidents. By supporting traffic safety, this project will contribute to SDG 3 - Good health and well-being.
Project leader: Marco Dozza
 
3D Perception and Prediction of Pedestrians for Improved Decision-Taking in Autonomous Driving and Active Safety
In recent years, the performance of computer vision applications, like image classification,
object recognition and detection has dramatically improved due to the Deep Learning
paradigm. The breakthrough has been enabled by theoretical developments, increased
computational power and big annotated datasets. Still, the challenges posed by a fully
autonomous vehicle due to the dynamic environment is enormous and yet to be solved. In
this project, we will leverage on recent developments and consider a key problem in traffic
safety: 3D modelling of human behaviour in traffic scenes. The overall purpose of the project is to develop algorithms combining perception, prediction, and control for improved decision-taking in autonomous driving and active safety systems.
Project leader: Fredrik Kahl
 
Big data based autonomous navigation system for safe and efficient shipping
Most of maritime accidents are caused by human related operational mistakes. Harsh sailing environments at sea also challenge the capability of crewmembers to operate a ship in an energy efficient and environment friendly manner. It may even lead to serious human health problems, ship and cargo damage/loss, etc. On the other hand, shipping industry has to put huge investment to hire and train crewmembers to work onboard. Therefore, autonomous shipping concept has been discussed for decades to achieve sustainable maritime transport. However, theoretical models associated with large uncertainties cannot give precise prediction of a ship’s navigation and manoeuvring capability. It also limits the practical application of autonomous shipping. Today’s ships are installed with large amount of sensors to monitor their sailing performance, which can be directly used for unmanned ship navigation.
In this big data based autonomous shipping project, we will develop a complete system for autonomous shipping, based on both theoretical navigation prediction models and big data techniques to handling large real-time ship sensor data. A 3-meter autonomous vessel (AUV) will be constructed to test some major functions and navigation skills, e.g., follow arbitrary ship routes, avoid collision, self-parking, remote control and communications. More importantly, a lot of potential industry applications and benefits to use the AUV technologies will be pinpointed and tested in the end of the project.
Relevance for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
The project can contribute to the SDG 13 - Climate Action. In this project, the autonomous operation platform will be developed to use big archived and real-time MetOcean condition and ship performance data for the planning of a ship's sailing course and schedule in the safest and most environment-friendly way. The ship will be operated autonomously to follow the planned route to reduce air emission from less fuel consumption.
Project leader: Wengang Mao
 
Propeller-integrated motor drive for electric medium sized boats
Shipping is a major cause of harmful air pollution in Europe and by 2020 shipping emissions of SO2 and NOx could exceed the emissions of these pollutants from all other sources in the EU. The purpose of this project is to initiate Chalmers research in the area of marine electrification, especially in development of high performance electric drive in order to reduce CO2 emission and improve harbour and marine environments. The concrete objective is to develop propeller-integrated motor drive concept. The drive systems we will study is in the range of 40 - 100 kW of peak power. To submerge electric motor in water directly connected with the propeller has the advantage of direct cooling of the motor with sea water. The collaborating partners in the project are Department of Electrical Engineering and Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences. 
Relevance for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
The development of a high performance electric drive for marine applications will lead to the reduction of harmful air pollution and improved harbour and marine environments. It is thus relevant for SDG 11 - Sustainable  cities  and  communities.
Project leader: Yujing Liu
 

Transition to transportation systems of the future

Redefining Urban Development Strategies for Effective and Efficient Future Mobility Solutions
Cities grow and move. The global population has tripled in the last 100 years, bringing the current count to over 7 billion.  Mobility is a basic human activity and the outcome of the need for access to various city functions and activities (ex.: work, leisure, personal and household management). The world’s cities are facing an urgent set of challenges when it comes to ensuring that fundamental rite of urban living: getting around. The population and urban growth change urban mobility in space and stress the word infrastructure.
  There are many reasons why we should rethink urban development strategies today. Traditional approaches to transport-land use models need to relate to the emerging changes in the culture and economy of cities. The actual travel patterns are very different from past days with a growing complexity, such as car sharing, park-and-ride, modal shift and trip chaining. This is also due to mobility revolution showing many more ways to get around cheaper and faster, with customized levels of service, convenience, and new business models. The second is about changes of transportation technology and fast mobility innovations. Time and cost of travel have shrunk time-distances. Innovations in computer and telecommunications technologies, including smartphone on-demand mobility, and autonomous driving change behaviour in space, and become new electronic challenges in the information age. Third is due to environmental constraints and policy to reduce transport stresses like pollution, congestion, and promote a healthy life style in a healthy environment. The choice of transport mode is also important because it is a major consumer of energy—it is responsible for about one-quarter of total energy consumed in the EU.
  The main questions of this pre-study is about coherence of future urban development strategies with transportation models, review of new innovative urban transport solutions with a larger flexibility in response to the growing dynamic urban development, and possibility to use existing infrastructures and transport corridors versus developing alternative city structures for new transportation system models. Moreover there is a question how urban strategies can deal in the future with reassuring urban qualities and safety in shaping transport policy and legislation for implementing new mobility, for example autonomous vehicles.
Relevance for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
In the pre-study “Redefining Urban Development Strategies for Effective and Efficient Future Mobility Solutions” a first question remains how new innovative transportation models can be compatible with urban models? Here the link has been made to the SDG  9 - Industry, innovation and  infrastructure. Here the project is relevant to the goal to develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans-border infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.
  Secondly the pre-study refers to urban development strategies, planning and integrating transport policies. Here another important sustainable development goal is SDG  11 - Sustainable cities and  communities.
Project leader: Anna Kaczorowska

Virtual multimodal infrastructure for smart cities
The main goal of this research effort is to develop a detailed strategy and initiate the creation of a data hub for multimodal transportation for citizens. The proposed effort will focus on the City of Gothenburg, but it can be a stepping stone for an open data resource with nation-wide coverage. This effort has the potential to make the future research efforts in the field of “Transition to future transport” much more efficient, as it will be a reliable resource for researchers to use in the early stages of project development. This effort is also a first step towards making Chalmers Area of Advance Transport the “Go To” place for addressing data quality and management issues in the future transportation research projects.
Relevance for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:
Open data hubs based on multimodal transportation infrastructure are driven by the goal to enhance and facilitate decision making in transportation field. Through harnessing the information from a variety of resources, virtual transportation data platforms help us provide more reliable and responsive transportation services, and thus improve the lives of urban dwellers. (SDG 11 - Sustainable cities  and  communities)
Project leader: Ivana Tasic
 
The potential of BigData in material supply and information sharing in supply chains
The aim of this pre-study is to define research directions for big data analysis related to demand management, material supply and information sharing processes in supply chains. The project is cross-disciplinary and conducted by research groups at the Department of Technology Management and Economics and the Department of Computer Science and Technology. Literature and interview studies are used to map present big data initiatives and studies on big data and business analytics in demand management, material supply and information sharing processes. Initial big data analyses and workshops to explore and describe patterns of delivery schedule accuracy and variations are conducted on data collected from companies in the automotive industry. These analyses aim at identifying further predictive big data based research. 
Project leader: Patrik Jonsson
 
Eaferry
Electrification and automation of the transportation systems in cities are likely to become a reality in the near future. An important example is environmentally friendly ferries for transporting people and goods on waterways within a city. In this context, two major problems are limitations in battery energy capacity and difficulties in operating a ferry autonomously (i.e. without direct human intervention), for example when docking to allow new passengers to board the ferry. In this project, we will study different methods for making a ferry fully autonomous. Another important aim of the project is to find methods for minimizing the battery energy usage of the ferry.
Relevance for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
The EAFerry project can be connected to SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities. The electrical ferry, which is the ultimate aim of the project, will contribute to reducing pollution in cities.
Project leader: Mattias Wahde
 
Mixed Methods for the Biography of a Street: Useable Pasts for Urban Mobility Transitions
This pre-study concerns a project which seeks to contribute to contemporary debate on how future urban mobility may become more sustainable by investigating developments in the past using a mixed methodology. Combining (1) digitized and GIS-attributed traffic data, (2) historical reconstruction of social and political context of urban planning decisions, and (3) visual material of key streets, it will result in a “Biography of a Street”. This mixed research methodology will be linked to an open access digital platform offering insight into the long-term development of urban mobility for students, policy makers, and a wider audience. Such a website will provide relevant context to the ongoing global debate on sustainable mobility and liveable cities.
Relevance for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
The project contributes to a common framework of concepts and methods to investigate, city-wise and comparatively, how sustainable modes of individual, non-motorized (walking and cycling), and collective motorized mobility (public transport) have come into conflict with modern car-dominated urban city planning and traffic engineering. These explorations are important to policy makers and the public in understanding how such conflicts affect today’s mobility choices. How can mobility be equitably sustained for future generations on a planet with finite resources? (SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities)
Project leader: Per Lundin
 
Digital business models for energy efficient goods transports
This project focuses on how new technology can be used to make goods transport more energy efficient. In particular, we will study how digitalization and making use of a digital platform for sharing information among different actors can be helpful for actors in the transport system. Ericsson is developing this platform, where a number of transport buyers, transport companies and truck OEMs will share information. Through the use of this platform, involved actors can collaborate towards better use of capacities and route planning. The research project aims to develop sustainable digital business models for more efficient goods transports.
Relevance for UN's Sustainable Development Goals
The project contributes to SDG  9  - Industry,  innovation  and  infrastructure by investigating the role of new technology for making goods transport more efficient.
Project leaders: Frida Lind, Lisa Melander
 
Creating a core-enabler for evaluating scenarios of mixed vehicular traffic
In the coming 30-50 years, we will see a mixed vehicular traffic with variable composition of e.g., human-driven vehicles, self-driving vehicles, electric vehicles, etc. at different times at different cities/areas. A smart city needs to start evaluating the different scenarios of a mixed vehicular traffic, for example to predict the crash rate and the efficiency rate of such traffic system, to be able to come up with a city design that supports the transition phase and eventually the future transportation. A traffic simulator is an essential tool for such evaluation and/or prediction. However, currently traffic simulators are fed with hypothetical or simple road user behaviours that do not fully reflect the real behaviour of the different traffic elements. In this project, we will extract distribution of parameters (e.g., speed, time headway) in different traffic environments from naturalistic driving data to make traffic simulator more realistic and thereby increase its usefulness. A realistic traffic simulator could also be used to help in designing autonomous driving systems, e.g., via estimating the crash risk of a mixed traffic system when certain driving styles are applied to autonomous driving systems.
Relevance for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
The long-term goal of the project aims to enable cities/municipalities to evaluate the different scenarios of a mixed vehicular traffic and their impact on traffic safety and efficiency. We hope that this would help cities to make early preparation in providing safe and efficient sharing of infrastructure etc. for a mixed vehicular traffic. (SDG 11 - Sustainable  cities  and  communities)
Project leader: Selpi Selpi
 
Pre-study to facilitate Chalmers cooperation in Eco-Ship/Peace Boat project
Cruising is a fast growing segment in the shipping industry, however with a large impact on the environment. The Eco-Ship project aims to inspire and challenge the cruise industry by a demonstration full-scale project. This pre-study aims to identify possible research and educational cooperation’s were Chalmers can participate.
Project leader: Kent Salo
 
Prestudy on societal and scientific need for a testbed related to hydrographic surveying
There is an increasing awareness about the urgent need for measures to prevent further degradation of marine ecosystems and to ensure long term sustainable ocean management and use of marine resources. This is reflected in new regulatory frameworks both at national and EU-level that embrace ambitious monitoring programs. In this work, hydrographic data is essential, yet there is a lack of national marine data infrastructure to  enable full potential use of such data. The prestudy will investigate the need for a testbed including both experimental work on hydrographic surveying technology and development of a national marine data infrastructure.  The aim is to use a holistic approach including arrangement of a workshop with stakeholders from competent authorities and the scientific society to propose a strategy forward.
Relevance for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
The prestudy on hydrographic surveying is maybe of greatest relevance for SDG 14 - Life below water, concerning sustainable management of our oceans, where it is essential to have good knowledge about both bathymetry and different habitats to allow for resource efficient marine spatial planning, which includes all activities at sea such as marine energy production, shipping, fisheries, aquaculture etc. The prestudy is thereby also relevant for SDG 7, 9 and 11, as the parts of these goals that concern e.g. marine energy, shipping or urban planning also are dependent on hydrographic surveying in order to be reached in a long term sustainable manner.
Project leader: Ida-Maja Hassellöv
 
The Gothenburg cableway – a link between Chalmers’s two campuses
In this pre-study, we explore the proposal for a cableway in Gothenburg based on three specific perspectives:
1) Infrastructure on site
2) Wind conditions and aerodynamics
3) Chalmers use
The pre-study will be reported in short written form, which will be the basis for a research application, bachelor work, project in a project course and a master thesis project.
Relevance for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:
  • Efficient transportation services generate employment and wealth and drive economic development. (SDG  9  - Industry,  innovation  and  infrastructure)
  • Better urban planning and management are needed to make the world’s urban spaces more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The project contributes to the decrease of air pollution which is a major environmental health risk. (SDG  11 - Sustainable  cities  and  communities)
Project leader: Valery Cheronay, Morten Lund, Mats Ander
 
Platooning
Future transportation aims for a reduced fuel consumption while the transport load can be kept high. A promising concept is platooning, which means that several vehicles (primarily trucks) are driving behind each other in a collective. The reason behind this concept is the opportunity to reduce the air resistance for such a unit, which directly leads to lower fuel consumption. While the aerodynamic savings receive already attention, the effects on other attributes are less investigated. One important aspect is the contamination pattern on the following vehicles. This can lead to problems as for instance distance sensors or camera systems can be covered or important cooling inlets will be blocked. The pre-study shall depict important aspects which have to be considered and point out research questions which have to be answered to meet future platoons and future vehicle designs requirements.
Relevance for UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
Platooning is a technology for increasing transport efficiency and reducing environmental impact, based on multiple vehicles running in succession, one after the other. The basic idea is to save fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the reduction of the wake area between the participating vehicles. The technology works for both light and heavy vehicles. (SDG 7 - Affordable and  clean  energy)
Project leader: Simone Sebben
 
The attributes of physical internet as a new approach to increase energy efficiency if logistic services in seaport-dry port system
The growth of containerized sea transport demands improved efficiency and increased capacity in the transit through seaports as well as in the transport to and from seaports in the hinterland. A dry port - intermodal terminal with direct rail connection to a seaport - is a potential solution for seaport terminal congestion as well as for improved seaport inland access. Hence, this study aims to identify the potential for increased energy efficiency related to dry ports. The pre-study focuses on mapping the existing logistics services and energy inefficiencies in the current dry port systems. The planned second part of the study tends to explore the attributes of Physical Internet to address these inefficiencies.
Relevance for UN's Sustainable Development Goals
Functional dry port facilitates shift of container flows from road to rail and that together with energy efficient dry port services leads to lower environmental impact. (SDG  13  - Climate  Action)
Project leader: Violeta Roso
 
 

Published: Thu 26 Oct 2017. Modified: Mon 04 Dec 2017