nexFrontier: Future of Mobility – Building Intelligent Transportation

Join us for the sixth edition of the nexFrontier series to explore the fascinating futuristic picture of mobility with experts and professors from the National Center of Competence in Research on Dependable, Ubiquitous Automation (NCCR Automation), ETH Zurich, EPFL, Tongji University, Tsinghua University, and Zhejiang University.

Following the evolvement of the digital era, the urban landscape has shifted to a new paradigm, which is named intelligent cities in recent times. The construction of an intelligent city requires to involve a complex urban environment, which integrates multiple facilities, human movements, technology, society systems, politics, and economics, and therefore the intelligent planning for the infrastructure, growth, transport, and safety. As one of the core pillars of Smart Cities, Smart Mobility encompasses new technologies and revolutionary solutions to provide a safer, greener, and more efficient future, reshaping and optimizing transportation.


Currently, some metropolitan cities already use smart transportation on a daily basis. In these urban cities, traffic congestion is a heavy and hard-to-solve problem, with many side effects including pollution, inefficiency, and accident risks. To combat various negative outcomes, progressive models have been created, signaling for demand-responsive transport, monitoring of public transport, information mobility, and many more.


In the sixth edition of the nexFrontier webinar series, we are pleased to feature the Swiss National Center of Competence in Research on Dependable, Ubiquitous Automation (NCCR Automation) and in particular its research advancements in Mobility of the Future, where concepts and components are designed for automating multimodal mobility systems, as well as individual applications in specific transport sectors.


Dr. Philppe Roesle, CEO of Swissnex in China will kick off the webinar with a short welcome, followed by Prof. Dr. John Lygeros, Director of the NCCR Automation and Head of the Automatic Control Laboratory at ETH Zurich, who will introduce the goals and structure of the NCCR Automation. Our first keynote speaker, Prof. Dr. Nikolas Geroliminis, the Principal Investigator at the NCCR Automation and the head of the Urban Transportation Systems Lab at EPFL, will talk about large-scale monitoring and control for large-scale congested transport networks and share with us different control strategies developed based on principles of optimal control theory to improve multimodal mobility. Subsequently, Prof. Dr. Yibing Wang from Zhejiang University will present a novel traffic control concept of the internal boundary control for bi-directional lane-free traffic of connected and automated vehicles on freeways.


Our next speaker, Prof. Dr. Chi Xie from Tongji University, will introduce the Intelligent Vehicle-Platooning Transit (IVPT) system, a demand-responsive, vehicle platoon-based, exclusive lane-delimited mass transit system that integrates many conventional and emerging vehicular and traffic control technology. Following that, Prof Li Li from Tsinghua University will show us his research on cooperative driving strategies at the road network level with a macroscopic fundamental diagram.


Dr. Kenan Zhang from ETH Zurich will give an overview of her research on the ride-hail service market and show how the different matching mechanisms lead to diverse market equilibrium and, in turn, affect the design of operational strategies and regulations. To conclude, Dr. Xia Yang from Tongji University will focus on the dynamic bus allocation and routing for multimodal emergency evacuations based on the dynamic system optimum to improve evacuation efficiency.



Event Rundown

15:30-15:32                      Welcome and Opening

Dr. Philippe Roesle, CEO, Consul, Swissnex in China; Head, Science, Technology, Education Office at Swiss Embassy in Beijing


15:32-15:42                      Introduction NCCR Automation

Prof. Dr. John Lygeros, Director, NCCR Automation, Head, Automatic Control Laboratory at ETH Zurich


15:42-15:51                      Large-scale monitoring and control for large-scale congested transport networks

Prof. Dr. Nikolas Geroliminis, Principal Investigator, NCCR Automation, Head, the Urban Transport Systems Lab at EPFL


15:51-16:00                     Freeway internal boundary and ramp flow control in the lane-free paradigm of connected and automated vehicles

Prof. Dr. Yibing Wang, Vice Director, Institute of Intelligent Transportation Systems at Zhejiang University


16:00-16:09                   Intelligent Vehicle-Platooning Transit System: Principles, Technologies, and System Operations

Prof. Dr. Chi Xie, Professor, College of Transportation Engineering and Urban Mobility Institute at Tongji University


16:09-16:18                    Analysis of Cooperative Driving Strategies at Road Network Level with Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram

Prof. Li Li, Associate Professor, Department of Automation at Tsinghua University


16:18-16:27                     Understanding the emerging ride-hail service: from matching to management

Dr. Kenan Zhang, Post-doc researcher, Automatic Control Laboratory at ETH Zurich, Incoming Assistant Professor at EPFL


16:27-16:36                    Dynamic bus allocation and routing for multimodal emergency evacuations

Dr. Xia Yang, Research Professor, College of Transportation Engineering at Tongji University


16:36-16:45                    Q&A and Discussion


In collaboration with NCCR Automation


NCCR Automation


The National Centre of Competence in Research on Dependable, Ubiquitous Automation (NCCR Automation) investigates new interdisciplinary approaches to the control of complex automated systems in order to ensure that they function reliably and safely. In five research modules, it develops methods and algorithms for implementation in concrete applications, such as the automation of energy networks (“Energy Systems” module), future mobility systems (“Mobility of the Future” module) and various industrial processes (“Industry 4.0” module). In return, these concrete applications will feed basic research (“Theoretical foundations” and “Computational methods” modules). Through networked research, the development of new technologies and education, NCCR Automation aims to strengthen Switzerland’s leading role in automation and control technology.





nexFrontier is a webinar series at Swissnex in China, which spotlights cutting-edge research in Switzerland and China. With a particular focus on the Swiss National Centers of Competence in Research (NCCRs) and top-class research labs in China, this series hopes to introduce the most pioneering research advancements in Switzerland and China to an enthusiastic audience, as well as promote potential exchanges and collaborations between the two labs or institutions.