The smart, connected, and efficient bus: Digizity

7 December 2023
Digizity- Tecnalia

“The most important innovation has been the on-board guidance system that means lateral driving control can be automated”

The smart, connected, and efficient bus that travels the streets of Zaragoza has entered phase two, which will include commissioning with passengers

DIGIZITY, one of the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE), is the largest R&D project for electric and connected vehicles. Phase two of the project has started, which includes test runs with passengers. Valentín Alonso (Managing Director of Avanza) and Natalia Chueca (Mayor of Zaragoza) presided over the event that took place in Zaragoza.

After two years of intense work, the bus manufactured by Irizar, a 12-metre long ie tram model, is ready to submit its new on-board systems and latest-generation communications (5G and Wifi 6.0) to final testing in a relevant environment. From Friday 17 November, citizens can travel on this bus that will be operating on line 40 and have a unique experience as a user of a smart and connected service.

Integration of the automotive value chain: bus transport

DIGIZITY began its journey with the aim of automating, decarbonising, and digitalising urban transport with a smart, connected, and efficient bus. The project is led by Avanza and its participants include five other leading companies in the sector (IRIZAR, JEMA, HISPACOLD, TELNET and IDNEO), three technology centres (ITAINNOVA CTAG, and TECNALIA), and a consultancy specialised in public management (Novadays), in addition to the special collaboration of Vodafone as a provider of 5G connectivity technology.

This initiative involves the integration of one of the segments of the automotive sector in the value chain: bus transport. In this way, the project unites manufacturers of buses, engines, on-board components and systems, telecommunications equipment, and a global mobility operator.

Zero-emission city

After the tests carried out in the ERZ (Zaragoza Relevant Environment) during the first phase, adjustments and developments were made in March and April to operate the vehicle’s on-board systems. The most important innovation in recent months has been the on-board guidance system that means lateral driving control can be automated.

This means the bus will be able to autonomously control steering, approach a bus stop, and keep in lane. This is a further step in automating operations, which only allowed for vehicle acceleration and braking during the first phase.

DIGIZITY is part of a comprehensive model implemented in Zaragoza aimed at creating a zero-emissions city and promoting sustainable mobility by transitioning from private vehicles to public transport.