KTH student team wins the Urban International Design Contest

KTH student team wins the Urban International Design Contest
Photo: Islam Aly, Elda Shurdhaj and Aregay F. Kebede
SI News caught up with KTH SI Scholar Aregay F. Kebede to find out what it was like to be part of a winning team in this year's Urban International Design contest.
Aregay F. Kebede was an Assistant Lecturer for Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia teaching undergraduates Civil Engineering before he moved to Sweden to pursue an MSc. in Transport and Geoinformation technology.

Aregay and his fellow MSc. students Elda Shurdhaj and Islam Aly were supported by researchers to enter the Urban International Design Contest (UIDC), sponsored by the City of Stockholm, as part of the EU's CIVITAS ECCENTRIC innovation project.

Photo: Aregay F. Kebede

The team was awarded the first prize at the UIDC contest, which was held between 10-12th October at PodCar city Conference in Gävle.

The Urban International Design Contest (UIDC) is a student design contest involving cities, universities, and at least one local sponsor for each city. The goal is for the student teams to educate, inspire and motivate important stakeholders to design and visualise how new modes of sustainable public transit can be used in their urban environment.

This year’s theme at Pod Car City Conference 2018 was 'Planning for Autonomous Shared Mobility'. With this theme in mind, students had to present ideas on how a city can implement autonomous shared mobility in their city.

The three KTH students had to address transport-related challenges faced by City of Stockholm planners by incorporating both mass transport (e.g. public transport) and autonomous mobility concepts.

City of Stockholm representatives suggested a focus area for the project provide one of the challenges currently faced by the city planners, which is the low speed of bus line 179 running from Sollentuna Station to Vällingby Metro station.

Photo: The KTH student team at PodCar city Conference in Gävle

The challenge was to come up with a solution to increase the speed of the bus so that travel time will be reduced while keeping in mind environmental and social sustainability.

After months of hard work, the small team settled on an idea. Their idea was to integrate two different public transport modes – Autonomous Bus Rapid Transit (ABRT) and Group Rapid Transit (GRT) – in the current public transportation system. The speed of the current bus will be increased by reducing the number of stops and implementing pod cars serving as a feeder for the Group Rapid Transit.

The KTH team is proud to have won the competition and are hoping to discuss further development of their proposal. They were invited to present their work at Global Public Transport Summit 2019 in Stockholm and to the CIVITAS ECCENTRIC innovation project steering committee meeting.

SI News wishes them the best luck!