The AWARD H2020 mid-year meeting, hosted by EasyMile, led by the project coordinator Julien Collier, successfully took place in Toulouse from June 12th to June 14th, 2023. The event brought together a total of 46 team members representing esteemed organizations such as Absiskey, Adasky, AIT, Applied Autonomy, AustriaTech, BIZUP, BRP-Rotax, CARA, Cerema, CertX AG, Continental, DFDS, Digitrans, ENIDE, FHO – University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Foresight, FRACS, IRU, ITS Norway, Kamag, LCM, SAS/TLD, Schenker, VTT, and Ottopia.
Here´s a summary highlighting the main activities and sessions of each day:
Day 1 – June 12: Welcoming at EasyMile Headquarters and bus travel to the Francazal site, Airport vehicle demonstration and bus travel back to EasyMile Headquarters, Get together Cocktail session exclusively for project partners at Péniche Saint Louis; Day 2 – June 13: Morning session includes meeting introduction, agenda presentation, and general project presentation, Vehicle and use case presentations for forklift, hub to hub, port, and airport vehicles, WP10 progress update, internal reporting, planning, budget updates, and next steps discussion, Objectives review and update, followed by a wrap-up discussion, Afternoon session includes detailed status updates per work package (WP3 to WP9) and risk matrix update; Day 3 – June 14: Reserved for PGA representatives only: project planning presentation exclusively for PGA members, project Q&A session exclusively for PGA members.
The future of good transportation is on its way, thanks to our 28 partners who are experts in so many domains: vehicle manufacturers, ADS and sensors providers, business analysts and experts, advisors, sites owners, research institutes, tele operating systems suppliers, fleet management system developers.
Here are the updates:📦 Forklift use case, the CRAYLER in AIT: we are working hard to integrate the system on the vehicle, which will have to load and unload a truck in an arbitrary area.🚢 Port use case, the EZTug in DFDS: all sensors are almost installed, the vehicle will be shipped to EasyMile to integrate and test the software before running tests there. ✈ Airport use case, the Tract Easy in AVINOR Gardenmoen: we were proud to show the vehicle performance at EasyMile in Toulouse to the partners during the last days. Now, it's time to perform the last tests before shipping the vehicle on the demo site.🚛 Hub to Hub use case, the KAMAG in Gunskirchen (ROTAX - DB SCHENKER): the vehicle was tested in harsh weather conditions, which is the principle of AWARD project, in DIGITRANS proving ground and is now preparing the demo on site.
Julien Collier - AWARD Project Coordinator
The AWARD Project is a great opportunity not only to test the state of the art of EasyMile Autonomous Vehicle in representative operations but also to get a glimpse at what may yet come. The diversity of sensor data provided by our partners helped us consolidate our belief as to how to address All Weather use cases and ensure reliable, safe, 24/7 autonomous operations.
Florian Enaud - EasyMile Cross Product development lead
On June 12, 2023, in Toulouse, France, the AWARD H2020 project consortium showcased cutting-edge innovations and advancements in Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) specifically designed for airport logistics operations. The event served as a platform for clients in the aviation industry to gain valuable insights and engage in networking opportunities. The program featured a captivating Tract Easy vehicle demonstration at the Francazal testing site, where participants witnessed the AV’s capabilities firsthand. The focus of the testing was on ensuring safety in the presence of pedestrians, with two scenarios being explored. The first involved testing the AV’s performance during rainy conditions, for which the EasyMile team simulated rain at the testing site. The second scenario involved the autonomous movement of cargo across an airfield, showcasing the AV’s on-demand capabilities.
The event facilitated productive discussions among esteemed experts and stakeholders in the aviation industry, fostering a collaborative environment to exchange ideas and perspectives on the future of autonomous vehicles in airport logistics.
Current safety systems in Vehicles perform well in "normal conditions" - daytime and good visibility. They are challenged in the dark, glare, and harsh weather conditions. Adasky thermal camera allows the extension of the operational envelope of these systems as the camera works very well exactly where others are challenged - Night, glare, and harsh weather. Logistics is a 24/7 operation all year round. Making it autonomous and highly safe for the workers and pedestrians in the working zones is a worthy goal. Adasky is proud to have its cameras on the AWARD industrial vehicles to allow the ODD the full extended ability in the various operations of hub-to-hub, port, airport, and forklift duties to recognize early enough safety challenges, especially with living beings.
Raz Peleg - VP sales at ADASKY
Foresight´s QuadSight multispectral vision solution, composed of two stereoscopic visible-light cameras and two stereoscopic thermal long-wave infrared cameras, offers highly accurate vision sensors to autonomous freight operators, capable of detecting any type of obstacle and enabling safe, uninterrupted driving at all times, even in harsh weather and lighting conditions It is exciting to see the Quadsight system integrated into the Mule vehicle, increasing the capabilities for use in high risk environments.
Reuven Segal - Lead Mechanical Engineer at Foresight Automotive
* To get a clear overview of the testing outcomes, download the press release: Revolutionary Autonomy in Airport Logistics Unveiled at AWARD H2020 Showcase
*Get a quick overview of phase 1 airport use case: At the end of 2021, AWARD completed the first phase of the autonomous baggage transport use case at Oslo Airport, Norway
During the informative morning session, the team had the privilege of gaining insights directly from industry experts. Here are the highlights:
Following the comprehensive discussions, work package leaders addressed the main challenges and achievements in the following areas:
The morning session proved to be an enriching experience, offering valuable knowledge and fostering collaborative discussions among the participants.
The AWARD consortium meeting featured the project officer, Sergio Escriba, the Head of Sector Automated Transport at CINEA, European Commission, who shared valuable insights on project milestones and future steps. Consortium members engaged in an interactive Q&A session, drawing conclusions that will guide them towards the project’s successful completion. This meeting provided a strategic outlook, aligning the project with European objectives and fostering collaboration among members. With a clearer understanding of the path ahead, the consortium is well-prepared to maximize the AWARD project’s impact in the field of automated transport.
During this 2nd day, the team addressed not only the project milestones and future steps but also emphasized the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing among consortium members. The session provided a platform for in-depth discussions on key challenges and opportunities in the field of automated transport. The consortium members gained valuable insights into emerging trends and innovative approaches, enabling them to make informed decisions and enhance the project’s overall impact. This collaborative environment fostered a sense of shared vision and collective responsibility, ensuring that the AWARD project continues to contribute to the advancement of automated transport technology.
AWARD already provides exploitable results. These outcomes signify the project's success in translating research and development efforts into tangible benefits and practical solutions. The project has yielded technologies, methodologies, and prototypes that have demonstrated their potential for practical application, opening up new opportunities and innovations in the field of automated transport.
Runar Søråsen - Project Manager at ITS Norway
Applied Autonomy's fleet management system supports all four use cases, optimising the vehicle's operations with regards to both efficiency and safety by collecting and using information from the operating environment as a whole. In particular the integration with existing operational logistics systems allows the fleet management to help the use cases exploit the full benefits of autonomous vehicles.
Rebecca Ronke - Chief Operating Officer at Applied Autonomy
The Project General Assembly meeting served as a pivotal gathering, bringing together representatives from each partner organization. The primary objective of this meeting was to engage in comprehensive discussions and finalize the project planning process. With all partners present, valuable insights, perspectives, and expertise were shared, ensuring that the project’s strategic direction and objectives were fine-tuned to meet the desired outcomes. Through collaborative deliberations and thorough analysis, the General Assembly meeting played a crucial role in aligning the efforts of all stakeholders and establishing a cohesive roadmap for the project’s successful implementation. The exchange of ideas and the collective decision-making during this meeting contributed to a shared understanding and a unified vision, setting the stage for efficient execution and fruitful collaboration among the partner organizations.
Cerema´s STI team is delighted to have contributed its expertise to demonstrate the performance of the AWARD sensor site in adverse weather conditions. The demonstration carried out by Easymile in rainy conditions during the PGA was proof of this. Cerema is now fully involved in the publication and distribution of the results obtained.
Pierre Duthon - Researcher at CEREMA
As the innovation manager of the project, I strive to push towards commercialization of innovative solutions developed in AWARD-H2020, one of the largest Horizon 2020 funded projects dedicated to Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) in the logistics industry. As pioneers, we are breaking new ground by introducing heavy-duty vehicles to the world of logistics. Together, we are revolutionizing the way goods are transported and setting a new standard for efficiency and innovation.
Loha Hashimy - Senior Innovation Manager
The AWARD H2020 consortium extends heartfelt appreciation to the Easy Mile team for their impeccable organization and outstanding hosting at this mid-year meeting. The AWARD H2020 team is now fully prepared to embark on the final steps, equipped with the necessary confidence and enthusiasm to achieve our goals successfully.