MASA is the first ‘open-air’ test bed for the experimentation and certification of autonomous driving and connected driving technologies (vehicles, components and services) that interact with other vehicles, with the infrastructure and with other elements of the urban space.

What are MASA’s assets? The programme is made up of:

  • a platform of bodies and companies known as the living lab
  • a customized research and development workshop with virtual simulators
  • a privacy-compliant test circuit known as the smart dynamic area
  • an urban test area for on-road driving known as smart model area

MASA is aimed at carmakers, component producers, analysis centres for safety, public bodies, suppliers of safety systems, suppliers of on-board services and those for urban and extra-urban infrastructures, research centres.

MASA operates as part of the protocol agreed on 14 May 2018 between the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport, Modena City Council and the University of Modena & Reggio Emilia.

In MASA it is possible to try out:

  • platforms and solutions for smart and sustainable mobility
  • advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)
  • technologies for communication between the vehicle and the surrounding environment, i.e. the road infrastructure, other vehicles, the cloud, installations, … (V2X)

within a real urban environment and in accordance with the Smart Roads Decree (28 February 2018 – means of implementation and operational tools for experimentation on the road with automatic and connected driving solutions) of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

The research groups and companies on the MASA platform are capable of offering a complete range of services for all the national and international, academic and industrial bodies that wish to use the MASA living lab.

The services provided include:

  • support for the request for authorisation for testing on public roads, to be made to local authorities (Modena City Council) and national government (Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport);
  • assessment of autonomous driving and V2X technologies;
  • availability of a protected area, at the Modena Autodrome, in which to try out various technical solutions in a safe and reserved area, with the possibility of reconstructing and simulating particular traffic situations (crossroads, interaction with public transport, wet roads, etc…) in a realistic fashion;
  • availability of test areas and simulators, for test activities and acquiring the necessary certification for test drivers and test vehicles;
  • availability of the data network and technical services across the territory, managed by the special Data Center;
  • training and certification for test drivers, driving supervisors and technicians;
  • availability of certified test drivers;
  • technical assistance and the availability of mechanical workshops during the road test phase;
  • logistical and support services for stays in Modena during test periods
  • Organization of special events within the various areas of the living lab

Through the infrastructure installed, real-time data are available for:

  • identification of vehicles used in the tests
  • type of vehicles (as identified by the network: car, cyclist, pedestrian, bus, etc.)
  • vehicle position
  • estimated precision of vehicle position
  • vehicle speed
  • estimated precision of vehicle speed
  • direction of travel of vehicles
  • visibility conditions
  • potential collisions
  • pedestrians in crossing areas
  • location of available parking places
  • type of available parking places
  • state of traffic lights
  • presence of horizontal signage
  • presence of vertical signposting
  • specific state of the road surface
  • state of the traffic (density, slowing, tailbacks)
  • potential obstacles to be found in navigable areas

The Smart Model Area is equipped with a basic infrastructure that may be implemented on request through the installation of special devices, on the road and/or on-board the vehicle, on the basis of the specific requirements of experimentation and data acquisition.