ART-Forum: A Tribe Called Transport

Automated vehicles are the most recent innovation in the world of mobility. The past decade has been dominated by the rise of this new technology. Operators and developers promised a technological upswing. Meanwhile, several countries in Europe were assigned with the task of rolling out pilot labs with automated shuttles.

This is where the role of local authorities becomes very important.

The technological development towards automated transport is fast. The ART-Forum project creates awareness with public authorities in the development of new framework settings for the technology of automated road transport. The project builds guidance on how to deal with these new technologies, particularly in their sustainable mobility plans, street design, and regional development plans. Although the timing and consequences of a more autonomous future currently are still unclear, it is certainly worthwhile to discuss and do research on the risks and benefits of this subject.

With A Tribe Called Transport, Mpact focuses on creating awareness among the students on the upswing of automated vehicles.

The main goals for Mpact are:

  • We map the impact of automated vehicles on mobility by involving students in discussions with experts. Mpact will continue to bring students and mobility experts together during Lost Lectures and (online) events, such as hackathons.
  • Mpact invests in strategic partnerships with universities to put the subject of automated vehicles more prominently on the agenda. For example, Mpact yearly submits challenges on which students can write a thesis. You can already watch the results of the thesis of last year, written by Stef Vanderheyden (student UHasselt) and coached together with Lieve Cremers (UHasselt).
  • We put in the effort for communication on the social and economic impact of automated vehicles. We create digital content, such as podcasts, online discussion shows, blogs,…
  • In September 2021, the City of Mechelen, and Mpact launched a discussion paper on how we can potentially roll out autonomous transport in sustainable ways in Flanders.
    The aim of this discussion paper is to identify how automated and autonomous
    road transport will develop in Flanders and the potential impact it may have on our society. The initiators are striving towards a society in which future autonomous vehicles can be deployed sustainably. In a manner that all population groups, including those who do not own a private vehicle, can experience the benefits of this new technology. You can read the entire discussion paper here.
  • Finally, Mpact does small research on a yearly basis towards the students. In these surveys, the students are asked about their views on automated vehicles, among other things.

The ART-Forum project started in 2019 and will end in 2022.