CulturalRoad, an ambitious new project under the CCAM Partnership, has been launched with ERTICO as coordinator. The project aims to develop innovative methodologies and tools to foster more equitable deployment of Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM) services while taking into account diversity in all its dimensions. CulturalRoad officially started its journey towards more transport equity following an inaugural kick-off meeting with all consortium members on 14 and 15 May at the ERTICO office in Brussels.

Aligning with the main objectives of the European Union’s Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, CulturalRoad supports the development of seamless, smart, and safe mobility for the benefit of all. The project seeks to integrate cultural and geographical diversity into equitable CCAM deployment strategies to increase societal awareness and acceptance of CCAM services across diverse regions in Europe and worldwide.

CulturalRoad is developing an innovative participatory approach that involves all stakeholders to achieve this objective. Public authorities, industry partners, and local communities will co-create CCAM implementation plans, ensuring they are tailored to specific contexts and needs. All aspects of diversity will be considered when developing the plans, whether linked to the cultural context, the geographic environment, or exogenous aspects such as economic conditions and political systems in place. By involving citizens in every step of the process through interviews, workshops, and focus groups with different segments of the population, CulturalRoad aims to ensure CCAM planning meets their mobility needs and benefits all.

In addition, CulturalRoad will introduce a unique Five-Pointed Star Rating System to evaluate the equity of CCAM systems in their specific contexts. This system will measure five aspects, namely the safety of the system, its level of inclusivity, its acceptance by users, the readiness of the current network, and psychological factors influencing usage. The outcome will be an overall equity score that will enable the development of planning tools based on local needs and the evaluation of multiple CCAM services within the same network. This will also ensure that the CCAM deployment roadmaps developed as part of the project are transferrable to different environments and can be compared across different cultures and geographies.

John Paddington, CulturalRoad Project Coordinator and Senior Manager of Innovation and Deployment at ERTICO says: “We know that different people from different cultures and geographies have different needs when it comes to transport. CulturalRoad will help us better meet those needs and tailor transport services including future connected and automated vehicles.”

To validate its concept and methodology, CulturalRoad will conduct five demonstrations in Barcelona (Spain), Karlsruhe (Germany), Eilat (Israel), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the West Midlands and Oxfordshire regions (United Kingdom). The demonstrations will assess the Five-Pointed Star Rating System and the framework for participatory planning at national, regional, and local levels, generating valuable knowledge, guidelines, and policy recommendations applicable in various environments and creating a long-lasting positive impact on CCAM deployment and equity in transport.