By: Natasha Taylor
As part of the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM) Roadmap, a number of policies, initiatives, and projects have been presented to highlight the EU’s “strong experience in funding collaborative research in the field of CCAM”.
Within each of the policies, initiatives, or projects, there is the potential for the development of CCAM, allowing the goals set out in the ERTRAC Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility Roadmap to be achieved up until 2050, where automated vehicles play a key role in society for safer, smarter and more sustainable roads.
An overview of the long-term development of Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility in Europe, including the vision and goals to be achieved up until 2050, as supported by the policies, projects, and initiatives set out above, can be found here.
EU Mobility Strategy
The 3rd Mobility Package, published in 2018, outlines key actions on governance, funding, roads, vehicles, road use, emergency response, emerging challenges and the global role of the EU. Here, the European Commission provided objectives and actions to accelerate the deployment of Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility - the ambition of making Europe a world leader in this domain was also set here.
In 2020, the publication of The Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy further highlighted the importance of connectivity and automation within the transport system across Europe in the future. The strategy highlighted specific use casesthat are important in relation to public policy that is to be implemented over the following decade.
EU Digital Strategy
The European Commission presented a vision in March 2021 focusing on digital transformation across Europe by 2030. The plan focuses on four key areas: skills, infrastructure, business, and government.
Emphasis is placed on building a secure and sustainable digital infrastructure, including technologies such as connectivity, semiconductors, data, and cloud computing.
This is to be implemented through various partnerships such as the Key Digital Technologies (KDT) partnership which aims to boost the development of electronic components and systems technology, and the European Alliance on Processors and Semiconductor Technologies which was established to identify gaps in the production of microchips and the subsequent necessary technology developments.
European Green Deal
As a policy initiative, The European Green Deal aims to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. Here the importance of connected and automated mobility in achieving sustainable transportation is recognized.
By integrating connected and automated mobility into the transport system, a positive environmental impact can be achieved through the reduction of emissions and congestion, optimized traffic flow, and the avoidance of unnecessary trips. Additionally, the integration of shared mobility will promote more sustainable and smarter mobility with a lower carbon footprint.
It can also be anticipated that, in addition to a reduction in air pollution and CO2 emissions, connectivity and automation will enable a modification of land use for road infrastructure which will enable further sustainability benefits.
EU Instruments and Platforms
Referred to as an expert platform, the European Commission established the single platform across the EU for Open Road Testing and Pre-deployment of CCAM.
Launched in June 2019, it brought together both public and private stakeholders to coordinate CCAM testing on public roads with the aim of developing a European research program for CCAM and a subsequent European partnership, focused on by ‘Working Group 1’.
A second working group focused on coordinating research, testing activities, developing a common evaluation methodology (CEM), and a data sharing network. Additionally, four other working groups addressed physical and digital infrastructure, road safety, cybersecurity and access to in-vehicle data and connectivity.
Within all working groups, a scoping paper was produced to analyze the current state of each area, in addition to gaps with subsequent actions and recommendations put forward to address the remaining challenges in relation to the testing and deployment of CCAM across Europe.
Horizon Europe & CCAM Partnership
Horizon Europe is an EU framework providing research and funding for initiatives which address societal challenges such as climate change, the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and boosting EU competitiveness and growth in the European Research Area.
With a budget of €95.5bn over seven years —2021 to 2027—it plays an important role in bringing together the European Commission and stakeholders to collaborate on research and innovation initiatives and address the most pressing challenges across Europe.
In June 2021, the CCAM Partnership was officialized. Focused on connected, cooperative and automated mobility by both the European Commission and the CCAM Association—who gather the CCAM stakeholder community—it aims to enhance road safety, promote inclusive mobility, and reduce environmental impacts, while strengthening competitiveness of European industries and accelerating the development and deployment of CCAM solutions.
The partnership includes a number of stakeholders from across the EU from various areas spanning industry, research, and public authorities at both national and local levels. Over the lifetime of the partnership, they will discuss and determine the priorities and necessary actions that require the support of collaborative research projects at an EU level.
Other related European Partnerships
A number of European partnerships, in addition to the CCAM Partnership, address important research fields that are important as enablers for CCAM technology.
Key Digital Technologies: This is focused on Electronic Components and Systems as enabling technologies for multiple application fields. A high priority area as part of this is mobility to provide reliable sensors, actuators, and controllers for environment detection and decision making.
Smart Network and Services (SNS): Focuses on fully digitizing industries, including mobility. By exploring innovative connectivity solutions, the research agenda aims to provide enhanced networks and devices to support the development and deployment of automated mobility.
The Partnership on AI, Data and Robotics: This includes research areas related to CCAM solutions, focusing on key technologies such as Machine Decisions Making, AI for situational awareness, as well as predictive perception, date quality, privacy and protection. Advancements will contribute to the development of CCAM and build upon existing research.
The European Partnership on Photonics: This partnership has a focus on advancing photonic technologies that are crucial for CCAM, with focus on the integration of efficient sensing capabilities within automotive platforms that are able to perform in real-world environments. Additional focus surrounds new solutions of in-vehicle sensing enabling new human interactions within higher levels of automation.
2Zero (Towards Zero Emission Road Transport): This partnership has the fundamental goal of using a system approach to advance the introduction of zero emission road vehicles. Together, 2Zero and CCAM can tackle decarbonization and digitalization challenges to improve vehicle and mobility system efficiency for innovative climate neutral mobility services.
Driving Urban Transitions to a Sustainable Future (DUT): Focused on urban development, one of the key pillars of sustainable urban development within this partnership is the transformation of the urban mobility system.
Here, there is interest in the deployment of automated mobility to understand the implications of technologies, infrastructures and services within the context of urban areas. CCAM is supported within this partnership through experiments in cities and urban areas with differing needs and conditions.
Established in 2018, the Strategic Forum for Important Projects of European Interest was a high-level expert group that represented Member States across the industry and research community working to propose a common vision for joint actions and investments.
In 2019, a report by the Forum which focused on strengthening Strategic Value Chains across the EU identified connected, clean and autonomous vehicles as one of the six key value chains for research and development.
ITS Directive and C-ITS
The ITS Directive aims to accelerate the implementation of Intelligent Transport Systems. The Directive includes a number of Delegated Regulations that cover various aspects such as eCall, truck parking information services, safety-related and real-time traffic information, and multimodal travel information services.
A previous revision of the Directive assessed infrastructure availability across the whole EU transport network, traffic data, in addition to newer developments such as CCAM and online platforms that allow users to access several modes of transport.
The deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) relies on voluntary cooperation to ensure that it is implemented within vehicles across the market, and part of road infrastructure as there is currently no legislative act for regulations.
In 2019, the European Commission proposed a Delegated Regulation, however, there was a Council objection under legal and technological reasons which did not see an act be implemented.
Currently, additional work is ongoing to address co-channel and adjacent-channel co-existence for both ITS 5G and LTE-V2X. If a standardization process is not agreed upon, the European Commission may have to decide upon relevant action for efficient usages of road ITS over the long-term.
CEF and C-Roads
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a funding instrument supporting the development of high performing, sustainable and efficient interconnected European networks across transport, energy and digital services.
CEF plays a vital role in advancing CCAM infrastructure and services to the next stage of pilot deployment for a full-scale implementation.
C-Roads is a flagship initiative under CEF where Member States across the EU jointly develop C-ITS deployment by developing technical specifications and verify interoperability through cross-site testing.
A first wave of C-Roads pilots took place between 18 European countries and was demonstrated at the C-ITS Roadshow in June 2021. The second wave of pilots, which are due to end in 2023, have included 50 cities and focused on urban C-ITS services.
European Regional Development Fund
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) provides funding for programs that have shared responsibility between the European Commission and national and regional authorities. The aim is to promote economic, social and territorial cohesion across the EU by addressing regional imbalances.
Between 2021 and 2027, investments will be enabled and supported to create a smarter, greener, more connected and socially inclusive Europe—a scope that can include investments into transport and mobility.
Several programs supported by the fund are implementing new innovations across the mobility sector such as automated vehicles for public transport.
European Territorial Cooperation: Interreg
Supporting cooperation between EU regions and countries, Interreg funds projects between Member States, outermost regions, acceding countries and neighboring countries to develop joint services.
Between 2021 and 2027, Interreg will support cross-border mobility initiatives and further develop environmental protection. Therefore, projects related to CCAM can be funded through the instrument.
Coordination and Support Actions
Funded by the European Commission, ARCADE is focused on the alignment of research and innovation activities for a harmonized deployment of Connected and Automated Driving (CAD).
The Coordination and Support Action brings together stakeholders and contributes to the Trilateral EU-US-Japan Working Group on Automation in Road Transport (ART).
ARCADE has supported ERTRAC through the organization of conferences, support of the CAD Roadmap development, and through workshops aimed at supporting the evaluation of methodology, data sharing, edge cases and international cooperation in relation to vehicle technologies.
The main outcome of ARCADE is an online EU-wide knowledge base that serves as an exhaustive resource for all activities related to CCAM across Europe and beyond by including R&I projects, lessons learned, roadmaps, strategies, standards and guidelines on evaluation methodologies and data sharing.
The COSMOS project provides support to the Mobility.E Lighthouse of the Joint Undertaking on Electronic Components and Systems (ECSEL) through the identification and prioritization of both technical and non-technical research topics for electric, connected, and automated driving.
The project maps research activities, analyzes gaps in research and design, and provides plans for the acceleration of Electric, Connected and Automated (ECA) mobility to match the demands of consumers in 2030 and ensure European competitiveness.
The FUTURE-HORIZON Coordination and Support Action was funded by the Horizon 2020 program to identify research needs for a sustainable and efficient road transport system across Europe.
It built on initiatives that have been previously implemented—FOSTER-ROAD (2036-2016) and FUTURE-RADAR (2017-2020)—and ran from February 2021 until January 2023 to provide support for ERTRAC activities in developing research roadmaps and assessing strategies related to road transportation.
Additionally, FUTURE-HORIZON focuses on capacity-building for local policymakers and practitioners for the implementation of innovative and sustainable mobility solutions, while also supporting ERTRAC communication strategy by spreading both its activities and publications.