FRACS and the STAC involved in the AWARD consortium to address the autonomous heavy-duty vehicles operations at airports

In April 2020, France Aviation Civile Services and the STAC (Service Technique de l’Aviation Civile, the technical centre of the French civil aviation authority) took part in the All Weather Autonomous Real logistics operations and Demonstrations (AWARD) initiative, led by EasyMile.

The AWARD consortium has submitted an application to the European Commission, to develop a large-scale H2020 project aimed at bringing a disruptive change to the trucking industry, fleet operators and the whole logistics sector by contributing to the accelerated deployment of innovative connected and automated freight transport solutions in Europe and around the world.

The consortium is composed of 29 complementary partners: heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers, automated driving technology suppliers, fleet supervisors and teleoperators, research organizations, and airports operators, like Avinor.

The project is looking to develop and demonstrate the use of autonomous heavy-duty vehicles in harsh weather conditions for real-logistics operations. A cost-benefit analysis will demonstrate the added value and economic viability of automated systems in real logistics operations for users and stakeholders. Actions are set to help increase the overall safety and efficiency of freight operations for individual trucks or fleets (emissions/freight ratio, fuel consumption, road occupancy, vehicle utilization, capacity of transport network) in confined areas and in mixed traffic (hub-to-hub) through innovative connected and automated driving systems.

This project will allow for a balanced regulatory and operational approach in demanding environments like airports. By combining their operational and technical expertise, FRACS and the STAC will identify regulatory synergies, practical mitigations on identified risks and synergies between existing surface monitoring systems, ground vehicle navigation and surveillance. The STAC will contribute to the drafting of technical guidance and tests to allow the implementation of Autonomous Driving System (ADS). FRACS will assist international civil aviation authorities to adapt their regulatory frameworks in order to safely welcome ADS in their airports. With this project, FRACS and the STAC will contribute to the development of a positive aviation ecosystem for ADS.

If awarded, the project will be rolled out in 2021 for 3 years.