Public Roads

Catalonia Living Lab provides for testing of connected and automated vehicles on Catalan public roads. Testing on Catalan public roads is not limited to predefined routes and areas: customized testing solutions on public roads can be designed in case of specific requests.

Authorization to test on public roads

Since 2015, a legal framework allows for public road testing of highly automated vehicles in Catalonia (L3, L4, L5). This single point of contact has been established to conveniently guide you through all steps of the authorization process. This service includes obtaining a license plate, support on required documentation and management of technical inspections and performance tests needed in the authorization process.
Service provided by: Servei Català de Trànsit (SCT)


CAV testing on equipped public highway

Autopistas Abertis has equipped a 20km section of public highway with the latest technologies in terms of communication (ITS-G5), sensing, traffic management 2.0 and data analytics. The test site is located in the Mediterranean Corridor (TEN-T Network) between Barcelona and the French Border. The specific highway segment is over 20km of four-lane carriageway and includes four intersections and a 180m tunnel. This service provides the opportunity to demonstrate any project related to CAV in a real traffic scenario supported by the latest technologies and the support of an experienced partner.
Facilities provided by: Autopistas Abertis


Catalogue of preselected routes and areas

The routes and areas presented here, are based on comprehensive market research, including numerous interviews with leading car manufacturers and their suppliers. Based on that research, the following criteria are applied for the selection of routes and areas:
Sensor Blockers [SenBloc]
Obstacles blocking the view of sensors, are challenging for any vehicle trying to find its way autonomously.

Sky Blockers [SkyBloc]
Obstacles blocking the sky, can prevent sunlight or satellite signals to reach the autonomous vehicle. This can lead to varying lighting conditions and difficulties in vehicle localization (due to reduced GNSS signals).

Road obstacles [RoadObs]
Unusual or unexpected obstacles on the road, can be difficult for an autonomous vehicle to deal with. Perception technologies might not be able to understand what the vehicle is facing, which can result in undesired behavior.

Communication issues [CommIs]
Any issues related to wireless communications between a vehicle and the rest of the world, can create problems for autonomous driving functions that rely on that data. This communication can have issues due to fading, noise, network switching, antenna switching or border crossing.

Road user density [RoadUD]
Dynamic scenarios including many other road users, are challenging for autonomous vehicles. Especially in case of vulnerable road users (VRUs), because mistakes can easily lead to injuries or fatalities. Many objects need to be recognized and their trajectories estimated, based on which desired actions should be taken.

Traffic sign density [TrafSiDen]
Autonomous vehicles might struggle to correctly detect or understand certain traffic signs. For example when signs are electronic, unusual, damaged, (partially) blocked or include text. The more traffic signs together, the more challenging it becomes for an autonomous vehicle to correctly interpret and obey each one of them.

Road characteristics [RoadChar]
Automated driving functions might be tested for a limited number of road characteristics. Varying the characteristics of a road can therefore be challenging for autonomous vehicles.

Different intersections [DifInt]
Intersections can be challenging in many ways for an autonomous vehicle. Its trajectory will be cut by other road users with which it needs to interact safely. Traffic signs need to be detected and respected. Sensor views can get blocked by objects or other road users. Dimensions and allowable speeds can vary.

Confusing elements [ConElems]
Certain elements can confuse sensors and thereby cause undesired or unexpected behaviour. For example objects or materials with a high or unusual reflectivity.

Ambient conditions [AmCons]
Adverse weather or lighting conditions can have a negative influence on the driving performance of an automated vehicle or its functions.
Based on the criteria explained above, routes and areas are selected across Catalonia. Each route or area is assigned a score between 1 and 10 for each criterion. The higher the score, the more challenging for a connected or automated vehicle to drive on that route or area.