SEAT is exhibiting four major developments in mobility of the future in smart cities at the seventh edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress. All the initiatives are framed in the guidelines of the Barcelona city council’s Urban Mobility Plan, which seeks mobility that is safe, efficient, sustainable and equitable.
SEAT President Luca de Meo pointed out that “SEAT’s commitment to improving urban mobility with solutions that are innovative, easy and smart is in the spotlight at this new edition of the Smart City Expo.” In addition, de Meo emphasised that, “our commitment is to continue strengthening our ties with Barcelona as a benchmark Smart City, and for this reason, we are presenting initiatives which are aligned with the four pillars promoted by the city in its mobility plan.”
With an emphasis on safe mobility, the company is presenting the SEAT Leon Cristobal at the three-day event, the safest car in the history of the brand. This ‘guardian angel’ concept car is equipped with six advanced safety assistants whose functions can contribute to reducing the main causes of road accidents, such as distractions, drowsiness, speeding or alcohol consumption. These factors are currently the cause of 80% of all traffic accidents. The Leon Cristobal is equipped with the following functions:
- Drive-lock: this system features a built-in breathalyser and blocks the car if a positive reading is given.
- Drive-coach: a voice assistant that enables the safety warnings to be completely personalised.
- Guardian angel mode: in this driving mode, all 15 of the active and passive safety systems equipped in the vehicle are activated.
- Display-mirror: rear-view mirror that uses a rear camera for better vision, eliminating blind spots.
- Black box: it records data and images while driving and sends them to a selected Smartphone in the event of an accident.
- Mentor: an app that enables parents to control the vehicle’s speed and monitor its location when their children are driving it.
The SEAT Leon Cristobal, named after the patron saint of drivers, could reduce road accidents by 40% if more than half of the vehicles on the road were equipped with the functions included in Cristobal.
Furthermore, and with a view to coming up with solutions for efficient mobility in the city, SEAT Metropolis:Lab Barcelona is announcing the results of the first project it has been working on since the Lab was opened last April, the ‘About it’ app which aims to become the new mobility assistant in the city of Barcelona. Among other functions, the app displays the location of electric vehicle recharging points, Bicing bike-sharing stations or black spots with the highest concentration of traffic accidents in Barcelona.
With reference to sustainability, part of the 10-strong fleet of eMii prototypes, which will soon be made available to the employees of Metropolis:Lab Barcelona and Pier 01 in a car-sharing project, will also be highlighted at the event. This service enables the brand’s electric technology to be verified, and the cars are equipped with the Digital Access solution for users to gain access to the cars with their Smartphone. Visitors to the three-day congress will have the opportunity to test drive this zero-emissions prototype by SEAT in the parking area outside the exhibition venue. New developments in equitable initiatives for smart cities will have their forum at the congress by way of the Virtual Mobility Lab project by CARNET, the only centre of urban mobility research focussing on Barcelona created by SEAT, Volkswagen Group Research and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. This simulation tool analyses and evaluates the impact of mobility projects on the city of Barcelona and enables results to be extrapolated prior to implementing any pilot test. In one of its initial tests, the Virtual Mobility Lab verified that by using 500 On Demand Shuttles, 2,000 private vehicles could be taken off the streets of Barcelona, with the resulting improvement of traffic and pollution levels in the city.
Autonomous Driving Challenge, the grand finale
In addition to the presentation of the different solutions geared towards improving future urban mobility, CARNET is promoting a challenge aimed at students with technical training in robotics. The organisation is looking for the best young talent and the goal is for the participants to develop wholly autonomous driving functions.
The project kicked off in April this year. Over a six-month period, the 50 students from 9 participating Spanish universities were tasked with developing software that enables self-driving scale model vehicles to successfully navigate through a closed circuit. For the occasion, CARNET has created a closed circuit driving environment inspired by the city of Barcelona, where the finale will take place. The vehicles will be competing to overcome all the obstacles, proving that they can successfully drive on their own in an urban setting.
This development can be applied and scaled to real life autonomous driving algorithms and provides students with the ability to participate in the creation of this future mobility concept.
SEAT recognised for its Easy Mobility Strategy
Wishing to recognise SEAT’s ongoing promotion of improving urban mobility with pioneering projects such as the integration of Google’s smart navigator Waze, the Amazon Alexa virtual assistant, Parkfinder or Travipay, organisers of the Smart City Expo World Congress presented SEAT with the World Smart City Award in the category of Mobility for the company’s Easy Mobility strategy.
SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 81% of its vehicles, and is present in over 80 countries through a network of 1,700 dealerships. In 2016, SEAT obtained an operating profit of 143 million euros, the highest in the history of the brand, and achieved worldwide sales of nearly 410,000 vehicles.
SEAT Group employs more than 14,500 professionals at its three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza, Leon and Arona. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca and the Toledo in the Czech Republic, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia.
The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focussed on developing innovation for Spain’s largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and is currently engaged in the company’s global digitalisation process to promote the mobility of the future.