Centre d’innovació i Tecnologia BARCELONATECH



The Cooperative Automotive Research Network (CARNET) research and innovation hub, promoted by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Volkswagen Research and SEAT and focused on the automotive sector and future urban mobility, has received the Catalan National Award for Public-Private Research and Innovation 2017, given by the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI), with the support of the Catalan Government.

CARNET is a leading platform for knowledge and collaboration between industry and the university. It uses the city of Barcelona as the testing ground for new technological solutions that improve the quality of life of citizens in the area of mobility. It is open to the participation of institutions and companies that wish to find answers to the challenges of urban mobility. The initiative, which is coordinated by the CIT UPC Technology Center, is supported by other business partners such as Altran, Applus+ Idiada, Ficosa, PTV Group, the RACC and Rucker Lypsa.

Currently, the hub is working on various projects that are transforming the automobile sector and revolutionizing urban mobility, including:

Virtual Mobility Lab: this is a simulation tool, developed by inLab of the UPC Barcelona School of Informatics (FIB), with the collaboration of Volkswagen Research Group, SEAT, PTV Group and Kineo. The tool analyses and assesses the impact of smart mobility projects and enables results to be extrapolated before any pilot test is implemented. In one of the first tests, the Virtual Mobility Lab demonstrated that the use of 500 on-demand shuttles could reduce the number of private cars on the city’s roads to 2,000 vehicles, with the resulting improvement in transport and pollution levels. This project was presented at the World Congress Smart City Expo 2017 in Barcelona, and is strategic for CARNET partners, given the increasing need for new simulation tools to implement mobility solutions for citizens.

On demand Shuttle Service: CARNET, together with SEAT, the RACC and Shotl, have proposed a new transport system, based on shared vehicles on demand. This system has been tested in a pilot trial with students of the UPC and employees of the RACC in the Eixample area of Barcelona. It is a more sustainable, efficient and flexible model of urban mobility that has been developed with the participation of inLab FIB of the UPC, who devised the simulation and optimization techniques. The start-up Shotl developed the system’s IoS and Android technologies, as well as the algorithm for planning route management.  

Creation of talent

In addition, CARNET has organized the Automonous Driving Challenge for engineering students, in which participants had to develop software that could move a vehicle independently around a specific circuit. In the same area of promoting and creating talent, CARNET manages Hackaton Mobility Barcelona every year, to stimulate the design and construction of projects to improve urban mobility.

In addition, this ‘hub’ participates in international networks and competitive calls, to create a high-quality research environment on mobility. In November at the UPC, CARNET organized the third edition of the Symposium on urban mobility, with experts from around Europe.

Catalan National Research Awards

The Catalan National Research Awards were announced on 27 December and will be presented at an event in Barcelona in March 2018. The aim is to promote social recognition of science and, above all, to disseminate the scientific activity of researchers and entities associated with Catalonia to Catalan society.