Public Funds

iShare – a disruptive approach to vehicle sharing
The sharing economy is booming, also in response to the negative trend of the global economy in the past few years. The iShare project is strictly connected to the sharing economy in a mobility context. It aims at developing a disruptive approach for vehicle sharing, and is enabled by an innovative product, i.e., a smart keyholder box that is capable to store the car key and push the car key buttons to open and close the car’s doors by using robotic fingers. This product is coupled with a web and a mobile app platform to manage user authentication, security, booking, payment, community management, and all the administrative processes that are related to the car’s check-in and check-out.
iShare is a unique solution to private vehicle sharing, as i) it allows remote sharing of the key, i.e., with no need for owner and driver to meet in person, ii) it can be used with any car model, and iii) it does not require any expensive professional work for installation. Benefits are expected to fall on both car owners and car drivers.
Moreover, the use of the solution proposed by iShare will increase the average car occupancy rate, while, on the contrary, second-cars are expected to reduce drastically. This will result in i) a reduced air pollution and traffic in cities, ii) a reduced demand for parking spaces, and iii) a reduced city carbon footprint.
Link to the Cordis project page: http://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/208159_it.html

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 762543

INPROVES – Integration of product and process for the production of electric motors for road vehicles

The Inproves project complies with the innovation aims set out in the European Commission’s 2011 Transport White Paper, the National Cluster’s 2015 Strategic Agenda on Sustainable Mobility, and the Region of Lombardy’s 2014 strategy of intelligent specialisation Work Programme respectively. The European aims refer to the necessity to work towards the elimination of road accidents by 2050, to eliminate harmful vehicle emissions, and to make taxes on pollution-causing activity more rational. The National Strategic Agenda recommends the adoption of safer, more efficient, more sustainable, more comfortable means of transport, the synthesis of new concepts of vehicles, and the adoption of automated and connected vehicles, among several priorities for innovation. The Work Programme of the Region of Lombardy focusses on, amongst other things, the safety of people and vehicles in transport, the energy efficiency of vehicles, the reduction of vehicle weight, as well as innovative production processes. The Inprove project satisfies all these aims, through the development of electric brushless motors (Permanent Magnet Machines – PMM) both for braking systems and for traction and energy recovery. Such PMMs are conceived simultaneously with the production process, based on the paradigms of Industry 4.0, namely the complete digitalisation of the production process, of the control and management of systems, processes and logistical-productive flows. The new electric motors will have extremely high performance in terms of power delivered, despite being light, reliable and efficient. The targets in terms of safety are met via the introduction of actuators (PMM) in the braking system which allow ABS and ESP systems to reach new levels of performance., as well as increased comfort (potential partial control of brake squeal). The possibility to control the forces of traction and recovery (with two traction motors on the same axel) also allows unequalled performance in terms of the vehicle’s handling (stability and driveability).

The proposed motors will possess sensors (real or virtual) capable of monitoring in real time, to increase safety and efficiency. The introduction of such sensors (real or virtual) is made economical by the possibility to use the same sensors in production. The proposed systems (PMM) will be extremely useful for the total electrification of vehicles which will allow not only increased safety through control over the forces of traction and braking, but also fewer local emissions and more comfort. In particular, the new automated and connected vehicles will be able to benefit from new PMM motors equipped with sensors. Such motors will provide data (both to the vehicle itself and to other vehicles and infrastructure) on the current functioning of the vehicle, bringing benefits in terms of operational safety as well as for the prevention of problems relating to poor vehicle function.

Project ID: 241363

iShare – smart key for vehicle sharing

Car sharing is a phenomenon experiencing strong growth. The estimates indicate that around 6 and a half million people worldwide, 3 million of whom are in Europe, use this system to satisfy their transport needs. Until now, the phenomenon has been seen prevalently in big cities and employs very few models of car. In Italy for example less than 5000 cars are ‘shared’ by a few established operators (Enjoy, Car2Go, Share’nGo…). 80% of these cars are made up of just two models of city car available via a professional operator which makes its fleets of cars available to the community. Rather than sharing, technically this is on-demand rental, where the renter can take and leave the car where they want (inside well-delineated urban areas). If, historically, the sharing economy was created for the P2P sharing of goods and services (one might think of AirBnB), in the world of car sharing we are still far away from these models. The iShare project aims to build the foundations which enable it to become the AirBnB of cars owned by private citizens. The idea from which the project originates from begins with the low levels of use of private cars (on average one hour per day) which brings high running costs, estimated to be on average €3200 per year (with an average mileage of 10,000 km per year). Car sharing is therefore an opportunity to save money, especially when it replaces the need for a second car in the family, as second cars are typically underutilised. Nonetheless, there are two critical issues fundamental to this opportunity: the handling of the car keys – which need to be delivered at a given time; and trust – how can I monitor the car in order to be able to trust the people to whom I am lending it? Regarding the second issue, it is sufficient to limit the sharing to a circle of trusted people and install car-tracking devices which today are readily available. But how to eliminate the need to deliver the keys? The ultimate aim of iShare is to bridge this gap by eliminating the need to physically deliver the keys, leaving them in an electronic micro-case inside the vehicle (referred to as “Smart Key Box – SKB”) and developing a technological solution for the opening of the vehicle doors through a smartphone and tablet application. The SKB, for which two patent requests have already been deposited, and for which a verified prototype is available at TRL 6, is made up of a system that, through robotic mechanisms, adapts to every type of key. The robotic mechanisms physically press the buttons to open and close the vehicle upon request from a smartphone. A  product of this kind presents two engineering challenges: • the development and testing of HW and SW electronics for the communication with the smartphone and the control of the device; • a functional and aesthetically pleasing design: the SKB has an essential component of both appearance and functionality in relation to the mechanical and industrial design of the device ,which will have to adapt to designated settings defined by the user, to the type of key, as well to as the aesthetic aspect. Seeing as the product is intended for the B2C market, it is necessary for it to have a recognisable and distinctive design, in view of the innovative technology it represents. The fact that it is made in Italy is also a decisive added value in view of the future opportunities for internationalisation of the iShare project. The initiative has an economic impact both for users and for the local area, with regards to the potential sharing market that the product is involved with, both regarding B2C (30 million vehicles just in Italy for this kind of technology) as well as regarding B2B in relation to fleet managers. Another impact is on mobility and emissions in the environment. By estimating that a shared car can substitute between 9 and 13 privately owned cars, one will have a reduction of over 35% in emissions per citizen, as well as a reduction of up to 40% in terms of km per year.

Project ID: 187075