Europe’s top leading projects deploying Connected and Automated Driving (CAD) and experts gathered in Brussels on 2 and 3 April for a two-day event featuring demonstrations, workshops and meetings focused on the future of autonomous mobility. In this occasion, ERTICO was once again in the limelight by co-organising the event and presenting five of its projects: ARCADE, AUTOPILOT, 5G-MOBIX, CONCORDA and ENSEMBLE.
The EUCAD Conference is the only one of its kind in Europe, bringing together European and national political leaders with high-level industry representatives and road authorities to discuss all major challenges related to automated mobility. ERTICO and many of its Partners took part in the discussions to support the European Commission’s agenda for CAD, whereas ERTICO also pushed forward its strategy for autonomous driving by showcasing four of its EU-funded projects deploying CAD. The EUCAD Conference proved to be the perfect stage for this!
Through panel discussions and Strategic Sessions, Europe’s most important mobility sector representatives discussed how accelerate CAD through Research & Innovation and ensure a safe market uptake and foster international cooperation possibilities, how to secure connectivity and data flow and, finally, public acceptance and adoption of CAD. The list of participants included high-level figures from the European Institutions and public authority representatives, as well as several ERTICO Partners, such as Toyota Motor Corporation, Volvo Group Trucks, TNO, FIA Region I and Groupe Renault. Their presence undoubtedly highlights the importance of engaging with different segments of society to help establish a sense of inclusiveness and shared ownership to encourage user acceptance of CAD and the need for a multidisciplinary approach involving all relevant transport stakeholder sectors.
As the coordinator of the ARCADE project, ERTICO is proud to have been one of the core-organisers of the 2nd European Conference on Connected and Automated Driving. In this occasion, the public-private Partnership brought forward its work on the convergence of C-ITS, cellular connectivity and automated vehicles along with the evolution of the road infrastructure to achieve its goal of safer and smarted mobility though accelerated automation and connectivity.
Among the highlights of this two-day event were the demonstrations taking place on the first day, during which ERTICO proudly presented the results of four on-going EU-funded projects, and the stakeholder workshop organised on the second day.
The first project on the list was 5G-MOBIX, which focuses on trailing 5G at cross border corridors. 5G-MOBIX was invited to present its objectives in the exhibition area of the EUCAD Conference set up in the morning at the Charlemagne building. The project attracted keen interest from the EUCAD participants, in particular DG MOVE’s Deputy Director-General DG MOVE, Matthew Baldwin, who stated that ‘The more we test on European roads, the more we can achieve!’, referring to the project’s 5G trials across European borders and beyond.
The second project presented was AUTOPILOT, which focuses on Io Tans stresses the critical safety aspects of automated driving. AUTOPILOT put up a live demo, organised by ERTICO Partners Eindhoven University of Technology, HUAWEI, NEC, VICOMTECH, Technolution and TNO, and presented the use case Relocation of driverless vehicles in the urban environment. The demonstration showed how VRU detection could be used to safely manoeuvre an automated vehicle through crowded areas, thanks to its warning system and perception technology developed within the project.
From cars to trucks, ERTICO and its Partner TNO presented the project ENSEMBLE, which deploys interoperable, safe, real-life and embedded truck platooning. ENSEMBLE was also presented in the special morning session hosted by the European Commission “Freight and Logistic”, and later at the AUTOWORLD Museum during the evening networking event. Among the European projects showcased during the conference, with the common goal of engaging final users in technological innovation and services, CONCORDA (Connected Corridor for Driving Automation) was showcased at the AUTOWORLD Museum with a demonstration of its use-cases. CONCORDA contributes to the preparation of European motorways for automated driving and high density truck platooning with adequate connected services and technologies. The Spanish partner CTAG, represented by Maria de la Torre and Hadrian Grille Negreira, showed in detail two use cases, slow vehicles and emergency break, in which one vehicle detects a specific road obstacle and communicates the message to other vehicle’s HMI through ITSG5 technology. Ms. De la Torre stressed the importance of involving final users and showing them the different communication technologies currently being tested in CONCORDA to find the best option. While waiting for 5G availability to be tested, the project is currently testing PC5 technology to ensure improved results compared to the ones obtained with ITSG5.
The second highlight of the two-day EUCAD Conference was the breakout session on Large scale testing in Europe organised by the Commission, a precious occasion to introduce a call for experts to participate in the single platform for large scale testing and pre deployment of CCAM that was recently set up. ERTICO’s Senior Manager and ARCADE coordinator Stephane Dreher was asked to set the scene for the session and introduce what ARCADE and ERTICO can do to support this action. “As coordinator of ARCADE, ERTICO plays an important role, for it is bringing together all the expertise to further develop field operational testing for CAD. ERTICO’s experience in CAD goes a while back, to projects such as VRA (Road Vehicle Automation) and CARTRE. For us as ERTICO it is an achievement to be considered as experts and point of reference when it comes to putting together a task force for the deployment of autonomous driving and give our input to the European Commission”.
In his speech at Autoworld, ERTICO’s CEO Jacob Bangsgaard said that “During the last 5 years the Commission has demonstrated the ambition and will to make Europe a world leader in the deployment of connected and automated mobility. This event is a prime example of where policy makers, industry and road authorities can come together to discuss all major challenges in the sector”.
The EUCAD conference was followed by two other events co-organised with the leadership of ERTICO. The ARCADE Joint CAD Stakeholder network workshop on 4 April and the Trilateral EU-US-Japan ART Working Group meeting on 5 April. The ARCADE workshop attracted more than 100 participants and involved 40 EC-funded projects in total which exchanged about challenges, solutions and research needs related to thematic areas for the deployment of CAD in Europe.
The EUCAD conference proved that Europe is internationally well established when it comes to CAD, with fast-developing technologies. The EUCAD Conference will be back in 2021, and we relish another opportunity to see new developments in Connected and Automated Driving!