The latest European Conference on Connected and Automated Driving (EUCAD) took place from 3 to 4 May in Brussels. Co-organised by the European Commission, the European Partnership on Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM) and the FAME project, the Conference brought together political leaders from the European Commission and Member States, as well as high-level European and international representatives from industry, academia, and road authorities. The aim of the conference was to discuss the readiness of societies for intelligent, inclusive, and sustainable mobility solutions.

The two-day event consisted of four policy-oriented plenary sessions and six thematic and technical sessions. These sessions provided an interactive platform for engaging discussions on specific CCAM challenges. Alongside the indoor activities, live demonstrations of autonomous vehicles from the SHOW project were carried out on the European Commission’s esplanade (images 1a, 1b)

Image 1a – SHOW VIP visit

Image 1b – SHOW vehicles at Berlaymont

Image 2 – Dr Dreher in break out room 6

As a co-organiser, the FAME project had a dedicated space in the Charlemagne building and participants could visit the stand to discover the project’s main features. Dr Stephane Dreher (image 2), Senior Manager at ERTICO, CCAM expert, and FAME project coordinator participated in the last break out session, deep-diving into CCAM’s different applications and scenarios where you can use automation on the road.

Image 3 – eCharge4Drivers’ stand

On the first day, a networking event co-organised with EUCAR was held at Autoworld, where projects involved in EUCAD showcased their intelligent transport solutions. Various ERTICO-led and EU-funded projects participated in the event alongside the FAME project, such as SHOW, PoDIUM, SINFONICA, IN2CCAM, eCharge4Drivers (image 3) and SUNRISE. These projects exhibited their innovations and methodologies related to CCAM solutions, accessibility, inclusivity, and smart charging services.

Four automated vehicles from the SHOW project, Europe’s largest and most holistic real-life urban demonstration, were showcased during the conference. The EasyMile and FZI automated shuttle, the CDV Transport Research Centre minibus and the TNO automated car were displayed at the European

Image 4 – SHOW Yape

Commission’s Berlaymont building. The Yape delivery robots (image 4) operated inside the Charlemagne building, captivating the attendees’ interest. A high-level delegation visited the vehicles, including CINEA, Clean Planet, and the DG for Research and Innovation from the European Commission. Henriette Cornet, project coordinator from UITP, discussed the need for speed, larger fleets and the need to have actual commercial services the transversal session 2 on ‘Refining the Strategic Partnership of CCAM’.

Image 5 – PoDIUM break out room

The event also featured breakout sessions where specific topics were addressed. For example, breakout session 2, co-organised by PoDIUM (image 5) with the participation of the IN2CCAM project, explored the importance of holistic approaches to mobility and the infrastructure needed for successful CCAM deployment. SHOW project partners participated in Breakout Session 3 to delve into the future of CCAM in urban environments.  The SINFONICA project (image 6) was presented in breakout session 4, which discussed inclusivity

Image 6 – SINFONICA break out session

and socio-economic effects of CCAM technologies and solutions. The SUNRISE project participated in breakout session 5, discussing new software and hardware for CCAM and their validation: Stefan de Vries, project coordinator, highlighted how harmonisation and addressing scenario-based testing will facilitate large-scale CCAM deployment. Moreover, at the SUNRISE stand at Autoworld (image 7), SUNRISE representatives had the chance to present the project working plan and

Image 7 – SUNRISE stand

its vision to different stakeholders and interested parties.

Throughout the conference, there were discussions on collaboration, data sharing, regulatory frameworks, and funding instruments to advance CCAM. The importance of collective action among stakeholders, harmonized legal frameworks, and comprehensive infrastructure development were emphasised. The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) was highlighted as a vital funding tool for CCAM projects, particularly in infrastructure development.

The conference concluded with resounding achievements, with over 600 registered individuals and over 400 participants attending in person. The event provided a platform for knowledge sharing, showcasing successful CCAM initiatives, and fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders. The importance of public trust, further testing, and pilot programs for CCAM technologies were also emphasised.

Looking ahead, the EUCAD Symposium (@TRA Dublin) in 2024 and the fifth edition of the EUCAD Conference in 2025 were announced as future opportunities to continue the discussions and advancements in the field of connected and automated driving.