Organised by one of ERTICO’s leading co-funded projects, FAME, together with the European Commission, the third Interactive Symposium on Research & Innovation for Connected and Automated Driving in Europe – EUCAD Symposium 2024 – concluded in Dublin last week, marking a pivotal moment in the evolution of research and innovation in transportation. Held in conjunction with the TRA Conference, the symposium served as a central hub for stakeholders to delve into the latest advancements in Connected, Cooperative, and Automated Mobility (CCAM) Research & Innovation.

The symposium spotlighted the exponential growth of highly automated vehicles on European roads. Each successive generation brings substantial enhancements in computing power and sensor data collection, showcasing a new era of possibilities and challenges. The influx of real-life data underscores the urgent need for robust infrastructure capable of harnessing and capitalising on this vast reservoir of information.

As the organiser, ERTICO played a crucial role in shaping the symposium’s discourse. With a focus on fostering interoperability and collaboration, ERTICO led discussions on the convergence of C-ITS, cellular connectivity, and automated vehicles. This convergence not only fuels innovation but also informs European policy activities, ensuring alignment with regulatory frameworks and industry standards.

The symposium’s agenda encompassed various topics crucial for advancing connected and automated driving. It commenced with an exploration of the transformative potential of modernising the European road network, moderated by Joost Vantomme CEO of ERTICO who chaired the discussion.  The dialogue uncovered the objectives, benefits, and adoption strategies related to the modernisation of the road network for CCAM across Europe, encompassing a wide scale of stakeholders with invited speaker representatives from various sectors, including OEMs, road operators, the CCAM Partnership, type approval authorities, and telecoms/automotive. The focal point emphasised the interlink between roads and CCAM. An agreement was clear on the need for digitalisation in the road area for CCAM use cases, a win-win between the physical and digital infrastructure and the road users where under vehicles.

Building upon the work carried out in the FAME project and the update of the Knowledge Base, attention turned to critical aspects of Common Evaluation Methodology (CEM) and Data Sharing Framework (DFS) for CCAM development. From best practices to societal impact assessment, insights were shared to propel CCAM initiatives forward. Finally, the focus shifted to remote management operations, essential in early CCAM deployments. Moderated by Elsa Lanaud (Ministère de la Transition Ecologique et de la Cohésion des Territoires) and Tom Alkim (MAPtm), panellists representing several actors in the transport market shared insights, highlighting challenges and necessities from an operational transport service perspective, fostering interactive discussions and enriching the exchange of ideas.

Reflecting on the previous day’s enriching discussion, Mr Vantomme steered a strategic session on ‘How to Achieve Transport Data Sharing?’, stressing the importance of integrated, interoperable, and harmonised approaches related to the theme of CCAM. Esteemed experts from academia and industry in rail, aviation, and logistics shed light on the intricacies of data flows within the transport value chain, demystifying the concept of data and exploring key policies and initiatives driving data sharing, moving from egosystems to ecosystems with interoperability as the glue. ERTICO’s commitment to driving innovation and collaboration in the transport sector was evident in this session, but also throughout the week in the exhibition halls as ERTICO showcased the upcoming ITS World Congress, taking place in Dubai from 16-20 September. As we embark on this journey at full speed, we are energised by the meaningful dialogue and collaboration that took place, knowing that it will propel us forward in overcoming challenges and shaping the future of transportation.

Looking ahead, ERTICO’s Roadmap for 2035 delineates essential milestones for a smarter, more efficient and sustainable future of connected, cooperative, and automated mobility. By fostering interoperable connectivity, supporting large-scale pilots, and promoting the use of big data in transport, ERTICO is committed to realising the vision of CCAM for people and goods.

As CCAM continues to evolve, ERTICO remains steadfast in its mission to drive innovation and shape the future of mobility. With its role in formulating common evaluation methodologies and steering the development of future Horizon Europe Work Programmes, ERTICO stands to lead the way towards a connected, cooperative, and automated future of mobility.