Egis has just signed two contracts for autonomous vehicle projects: a project in Dubai on the artificial island Bluewaters, and a project in the US city of Jacksonville, Florida.
In response to the emergence of new challenges in mobility, many engineers, designers and automakers have set about developing new and sometimes revolutionary projects to change the way we get around. Among these projects, autonomous vehicles stand out as a significant breakthrough. To develop these solutions, highly advanced research in infrastructure engineering and mobile robotics is being conducted in countries around the world.
“Bluewaters” is a modern, family-oriented island destination with a pioneering spirit that blends waterfront living with the exhilaration of urban city life. A colorful destination by Meraas complementing Dubai’s spectacular coastline and skyline, the island boasts residential, retail, dining, hospitality, leisure and entertainment facilities and is home to the world’s tallest and largest observation wheel: “Ain Dubai”..
An automated ground rapid transit (GRT) system will connect “Bluewaters” with the Dubai Metro in the residential district in a journey time of under five minutes. Using a dedicated 2.8km road with two separate lanes, running mainly on an elevated structure, it will offer shared travel to between six and 24 people per vehicle, modulated according to the time of the day. Its capacity thereby offers scalability ranging from an on-demand system during off-peak hours to a system that can carry up to 2,500 people per hour per direction during peak time.
The Dutch company 2getthere was selected to provide the automated transit system, including vehicles, supervisory system and system integration.
Working in partnership with Parsons and Atkins, Egis will be providing design and construction engineering services for the road, a station and the stabling and maintenance depot / control centre complex, together with overall project integration.
The Bluewaters GRT project constitutes a world first in the use of driverless shuttles for the provision of mass transit services. During rush hour, the planned GRT system offers capacities comparable with those of a light tram.
Through its “Ultimate Urban Circulator” project, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) aims to modernise its rapid transit system. This ambitious project consists of transitioning from its current automatic low-capacity system crossing the city, the Jacksonville Skyway people mover built more than 30 years ago, to a new transit system based on autonomous vehicles.
JTA therefore launched a consultation process to commission a study on this project to fulfil its specific needs, plan its implementation over time and benefit from the best possible technologies.
Alongside its American partner Louis Berger, Egis is tasked with producing the design study for this driverless vehicle transport system, which will be based on an array of existing technologies.
This project, the second in the USA for the Louis Berger/Egis joint venture, is the first-ever project in which a people mover transportation system is to be replaced by driverless shuttles.
Driverless shuttles are a highly topical subject today, as they are considered to be the transport solutions of the future.
This innovation is made possible by using an extensive range of digital sensors (video cameras, radars, sonars, etc.) whose data is processed by specific processors and programs. Thanks to these digital tools, the road environment can be reproduced in 3D through shape recognition (road edges, lane markings, obstacles, etc.). Artificial intelligence algorithms then help to decide what action to take on the vehicle’s controls.
A great many technological and regulatory issues will be addressed by autonomous shuttles. With these new driverless vehicle projects, Egis demonstrates its innovation capabilities on the world stage and stands out as a major player in the transportation of tomorrow.