Placed in a large-scale perspective, recent progress in health and well-being has been nothing short of astounding. However, in light of modern research, health is being viewed not just through the
Transportation and mobility
Interculturality and an openness to the world are cornerstones of a healthy democracy and these values help facilitate mutual understanding and respect among individuals and nations. They require transport and mobility as necessary conditions for interactions and the exchange of ideas at all scales: not just international but also intrinsically local, whether it is commuting or increasing accessibility in rural areas. Therefore, it becomes crucial for us to address transport solutions at both local and international levels, while also considering their environmental impact. In this way, we can responsibly develop sustainable travel solutions that allow continued connectivity without compromising future generations. Scientific barriers are emerging in the face of these new challenges, and recent technological developments are questioning fundamental knowledge about how we mitigate the environmental impact of transport, society organisation and how we can ensure fair access to transport for all members of society, for example.
In this context, Université Paris-Saclay serves as an important hub which fosters support skills for the dynamic scientific communities addressing these research fields. Here, we are continuously innovating, creating new tools and methodologies to change the way in which we move as a society. Our transport research spans smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and logistics, emphasising the automation of tasks, machine-human interaction, and robotics. We are incorporating major shifts in electrical infrastructure. In addition, in recognising that mobility needs to be facilitated at all scales we therefore also prioritise individual ergonomics and human movement. Here, we are dedicated to creating mobility solutions for those with disabilities, addressing occupational injuries, and enhancing Human-Computer Interaction.
In the world of transport, civil engineering and mobility, Université Paris-Saclay’s position and contribution to these challenges are being thoroughly engaged with for several reasons:
- We cultivate strong ties with our partners around specific concerns like transport and civil engineering. These connections delve into everything from societal considerations down to individual-level analyses, emphasising a holistic view of mobility structures in society.
- Our commitment to health research dynamics and our role in research-driven training accentuates our mission to embed health and well-being considerations in transport and mobility solutions.
- Our publications breakdown in the realm of transport and mobility paint a vivid picture of our depth and breadth of expertise. The diagram above showcases our expansive reach in research fields focusing on these topics.
ACTIVE FOCUS AREAS RELATED TO THIS CHALLENGE AT UNIVERSITÉ PARIS-SACLAY
Elevating the efficiency through Smart Grids for transportation. The central position of the electricity vector and the massive electrification of systems are leading to major changes in electrical infrastructure and usage. Electricity networks such as smart grids or μ-grids, whether connected or isolated/embedded, with or without storage, are responsible for transporting and distributing electrical energy, incorporating extensive instrumentation. The aim of Université Paris-Saclay is to push infrastructures as close to their physical limits while considering the diversity of energy sources, including renewable and intermittent sources, as well as the various uncertainties associated with consumer behaviour and global diversity.
One of our focuses at Université Paris-Saclay is on new paradigms that are therefore needed for optimal management of flows and storage of electrical energy in these networks. Energy conversion chains, made up of power electronic and electromechanical converters, are subject to severe integration constraints in harsh environments. This is particularly true in the field of mobility, with the increase in on-board electrical power and voltages. As a result, we are focused on improving the current infrastructure by calling into question the current structures, topologies and control of power converters, which must integrate physical and technological constraints such as the introduction of wide-gap electronic components, the physical phenomena associated with voltage rise and the use of electromagnetic or functional materials under high mechanical and thermal stress.
Assessing the sectoral influence on smart transport evolution. In the sphere of smart and autonomous transport systems, through our digital science research teams, Université Paris-Saclay has been making significant strides. In this area our research focuses primarily on three application areas: smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and logistics. Automation in the broadest sense includes both the field of automation of tasks by machines operating without human intervention, as well as that of automated systems, which today take a variety of forms: autonomous, collaborative / communicating, assistance systems, interacting with humans or with other living or artificial systems. This capacity for autonomy in terms of energy, decision-making and mobility is also a major objective of robotic systems, which closely links the two fields of automation and robotics. Our researchers approach fundamental questions regarding the use of networks for inter-vehicle communication and cybersecurity in all its infrastructures. This involves multi-disciplinary research combining applied mathematics, artificial intelligence, digital sciences, law, ethics, economics, policy, computer science, and electronics.
Enhancing experiences: ergonomy engineering in human movement. A focus on smart transport at a societal scale cannot lead us to lose focus on exploring the individual ergonomics and engineering, as the effectiveness of broad mobility solutions hinges upon how well the physical and cognitive needs of individuals are catered for. Therefore, understanding the individual needs of citizens and retaining a focus on individualism within movement is a key aspect of the research conducted at Université Paris-Saclay.
Université Paris-Saclay has been leading the way with innovative research in the field of mobility assistance and accessibility. Our multidisciplinary projects focus on overcoming transport and mobility challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. These projects represent the intersection of fundamental and applied sciences, creating practical solutions that enhance the quality of life for individuals with physical impairments. For instance in France, nine out of ten occupational injuries are musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Certain risk factors, such as repeated, forceful movements associated with inappropriate postures, are found in many occupational activities. In order to detect and prevent these MSDs, as part of a physical ergonomics approach, we are developing a method combining the continuous measurement of joint angles with the automation of a risk score calculation, applied in several professional fields.
Additionally, research into Human-Computer Interaction is exploring user-centred methods for designing and evaluating interactive applications based on movement: for example, virtual and tangible training in social and motor skills for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, and motivational applications for patients suffering from low back pain or diabetes. Robotic assistance is also a promising avenue for motor rehabilitation and/or MSD prevention. The benefits of robotics, which include flexibility, repeatability, and precision, form the foundation of their usage. One line of research involves analysing, modelling and optimising interactions between a human and an upper limb robotic exoskeleton. The aim of this work is to meet the challenges of well-being and lifelong adaptation for all (able-bodied and/or disabled).
UNDERSTANDING AND IMPROVING URBAN MOBILITY
Smart cities must allow an urban or peri-urban territory to adapt dynamically to the human and goods mobility and transport needs of citizens as well as public and economic actors at different time scales. This, without depriving elected representatives of their governance capacity, and by anticipating the evolution of the organisation
of the territory and its activities. In this context, Université Paris-Saclay supports interdisciplinary research programmes with the objectives of:
- Understanding urban mobility
- Enabling agile and coordinated governance of mobility means and infrastructures
- Allowing mid and long-term dimensioning, deployment and adaptation of equipment
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