1. Smart Model Area

The Smart Model Area is an urban area within the city of Modena, equipped with a basic infrastructure (video cameras; 4.5G communications network; data servers; sensors) for experimentation with two-way communication between connected vehicles and elements of urban mobility (VtX) and for experimentation with vehicles equipped with ADAS devices up to levels 3 and 4. The area has been active since 2017, and ever since the initial tests, it has been viewed to provide fundamental opportunities. Further technological infrastructures are currently being installed. The implementation of the area is the result of collaboration between Modena City Council and the Emilia-Romagna Regional Council, the University of Modena & Reggio Emilia, Lepida SpA, Hera Luce and AD Consulting.
Today the area is being enlarged through the inclusion of the extra-urban fast-flowing road between Modena-Sassuolo-Fiorano (SS 724 branch to Sassuolo controlled by ANAS) so as to obtain recognition for experimentation in keeping with the ‘Smart Road’ Decree.
The Data Center (currently at a preparatory stage) is positioned in the urban area, installed by Modena City Council and co-financed as part of the ‘Programma Periferie’ and with the contribution of UNIMORE, Lepida S.p.a. and Fondazione Democenter. The Data Center is the technological hub that will make the local ICT network more efficient, as well as forming a node for the diffusion of digital culture included in the Network of Places of Innovation in the Smart City Place of Modena City Council, home to the Cyber Security Academy, currently active in other spaces, and the Automotive & Security Computer Center as well as the Smart City Control Room.

2. Smart Dynamic Area

The Smart Dynamic Area is a specific area at the Modena Autodrome equipped with a basic infrastructure for experimentation with self-driving vehicles and systems for V2X communication within an entirely safe and reserved environment, as well as for the implementation of training activities aimed at students and the users of ADAS devices. Various technologies are put to the test in the area, such as traffic lights connected to the cloud system, digital signposting, cameras with AI software for the recognition of obstacles, video analyses for ‘smart parking’ and various kinds of sensors interconnected through the ‘LoRa’ network. The area is organised to host both ‘permanent road scenography’ and ‘temporary setups’, also thanks to the system of removable horizontal signage, providing a range of different road patterns, reproducing the urban context of reference on the spot.

3. Research & Development Lab

The R&D Lab is the university research workshop equipped with a ‘hardware in the loop’ static simulator for the implementation of research and development activities – also in collaboration with company clients – and training activities with students and users of ADAS devices.


At the heart of the MASA initiative, there are intelligent mobility, citizens’ safety, environmental sustainability and the quality of urban life, with a multidisciplinary approach that calls for the investigation of engineering themes first and foremost, but also social, legal, environmental and medical. For this reason, eight different workgroups also collaborate with MASA, made up of academics, entrepreneurs and experts active in the following fields:
Real-time systems for autonomous driving

  • Artificial intelligence and computer vision for smart cities and automotive
  • Automotive cybersecurity
  • Human machine interaction: UX
  • Human machine interaction: User experience tools
  • Human machine interaction: Psychology
  • Law and ethics for autonomous driving
  • Economics for autonomous driving