In this new post for the C-MobILE Interview series, we talk to Andrea Becerra García from CTAG, Vigo Deployment Site leader.
Together with the city council of Vigo, CTAG has been involved in many EU projects focusing on C-ITS and solutions for cities (such as Compass4D and CO-GISTICS). How important is the public-private cooperation with the city in order to improve safety, traffic management and in general mobility?
“A great part of the smart city services success regarding traffic management, safety and mobility in general, rely on the city public authorities and on the private companies or technological centres cooperation. It is therefore very important to encourage the collaboration in both ways, as R&D centres and private companies take advantage of public investments in C-ITS and new technology services in general. This cooperation represents an advantage for cities themselves, as t hose services, makes them more appealing for tourists, less polluted, less noisy and more eco-friendly. For this kind of services and deployments, the infrastructure and the facilities provided by Vigo City Council are as important as the technology and solutions provided by CTAG, whose aim it is to create systems and services that enrich and improve the user experience in terms of mobility, safety and traffic management.
A very clear example of the benefit of this cooperation is the positive feedback given by the authorities such as police, medical teams, and firefighters on cooperative services, such as the Green Light Priority (GLOSA) that allows their vehicles to green-open the traffic lights when there is an emergency. It is obvious that the possibility of testing this kind of services in a real (but controlled) environment can bring useful insights and feedback to improve and adjust these services, and make them more efficient and safer.”
CTAG represents an innovation excellence in the Galicia region and nationally; can you highlight some of the most successful stories about transport solutions that you implemented in Vigo and at a larger level (regional, national, international)?
“Over the last ten years, CTAG has participated in many European projects, where C-ITS services where developed and deployed for pilots are made of a great number of users, for many different scenarios and technologies. However, if I were to choose one achievement, I would go for the SISCOGA4CCAM corridor. The idea of having an ecosystem where vehicles, users and infrastructure were all connected raised almost ten years ago. And step by step, installing and connecting more and more road side units (RSUs) and on board units (OBUs), it started to grow and to become a quite large corridor, which has more than 200 km and a total of 135 RSUs with 94 intersections, with cellular technology including 5G and MEC nodes. SISCOGA4CCAM corridor brings us many possibilities in terms of services deployment, testing and evaluation, including comparing different technologies, such as Cellular vs. ITS- G5, to perform cross border tests between Spain and Portugal. Many scenarios and casuistry can be performed urban and interurban environments.”
CTAG is the Vigo deployment site leader, what do you hope to achieve with this project for your business but also for the city in general?
“Our goal is to enhance city mobility in terms of cooperative services under the umbrella of the C-MobILE project, but also to demonstrate that several CCAM services are already in place and that with a little effort and cooperation it is possible to reach a smarter, a cleaner, safer and more comfortable mobility.
Our expectations are that C-MobILE application users will have a nice experience and will benefit from the services offered through the application. From our side, we will work to ensure that the C-MobILE services and applications will remain available after the project for existing and new users.”
What is the most exciting and innovative aspect of C-Mobile for you, App/services deployed?
“Even if it is not the most innovative service, I can´t help mentioning GLOSA, which from my experience is very useful within the city of Vigo. It really helps drivers to adapt their speed to the traffic situation, avoiding hard breakings or accelerating when not needed. On the other hand, from Vigo’s deployment site perspective, and in terms of communication technologies, it can be remarked that cellular technology makes it possible to receive traffic information in an infrastructure non-dependent way, which brings more flexibility and scalability to the whole ecosystem. One example could be the Probe Vehicle Data Service, that allows C-MobILE application users to receive information on traffic events published by other road users who are connected to the CTAG ITS Centre (C-ROADs are some of them).”
Andrea Becerra García earned a degree in telecommunication engineering in 2013 by University of Oviedo. She joined CTAG in 2014 and is currently Cloud applications Area manager at Electronics & ITS CTAG Division. Her experience lays on software development, from customer requirements analysis to data gathering and analysis for validation and evaluation purposes. She is currently focused on cloud application for CCAM (Cooperative and Connected Automated Mobility) and C-ITS platform related systems development and deployment, participating in several national and European projects such as Compass4D, C-ROADS, C-MobILE, CONCORDA and 5G-MOBIX.