photo 4

Some 40 participants gathered in Brussels for the first VRA Concertation Workshop on 1 October 2013.  Maxime Flament, VRA  Project Coordinator, chaired the meeting and explained that by linking with and promoting the European activities on Automation, VRA can support the current initiatives at EU and international level. In a welcome speech, EC Head of Sector Wolfgang Hoefs emphasized how the VRA project provides the platform on networking on Automation. He also gave an outlook on the H2020 programme on Automation, which is currently under EC interservice consultation.

The meeting gathered representatives of all the Call 10 new activities and many relevant past and current projects. Participants represented a good mix of the different ITS sectors with a majority of research centres, a good industry representation and a couple of participants representing the Road operations.

Maxime Flament presented the VRA project and its objectives and provided information on the SMART EC study, the initiation of the iMobility Working Group on Automation, Motivations and discussions groups. He explained how results of the VRA project will feed the iMobility Automation WG and the Trilateral (EU-US-JP) Working Group on Automation for road transport.  While the iMobility Forum Automation WG provides for future research needs and recommendations for the EC, the VRA support action is gathering past and current activities to feed and motivate these needs. The Project Coordinator explained the role of VRA within the call 10 cluster and others and future calls and H2020. He emphasized that there is a need to identify relevant activities, common partners, define collaboration and make some bilateral collaboration agreements between the EC projects and how the associated partners could benefit from being involved in the project.

The iMobility Forum WG on Automation presented the Automation roadmap and the next steps. The roadmap provides for the following scenarios : urban and interurban scenario, whole spectrum considered to driving assistance to autonomous vehicles, description of several functions and detailed descriptions of relevant needs for R&I. Next steps include the definition of milestones for automation and the set up of two new working groups.

The current EC activities Interactive, CityMobil2 and TRAMAN 21 were presented, as well as the new projects from the DG Connect Call 10: AdaptIVE, COMPANION, iGAME and AUTOnet2030. National activities on vehicle automation from France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands were presented.

The meeting also introduced three discussion groups on transversal issues. The deployment paths discussion group focuses on the need for a scenario that is agreed by all stakeholders. The discussion on regulations attempts to clarify, report and set up a plan of action on legal liability and insurance. The standards and certification needs discussion group focuses on performance, vehicle interaction and safety and emergency events. The three discussion working groups called for participations from the automation experts.

Original author: Maria De Rycke