Automated mobility can provide some important benefits to societies and economies, however, there are still many challenges at different levels (technical, societal, economic, operational and regulatory). To overcome these challenges, an integrated approach and harmonised deployment is very much needed amongst stakeholders in the sector.
Public and private research on automated vehicles technologies is still fragmented with often redundant or overlapping development and testing activities of limited durations and small scale. The different elements of the complete connected, cooperative and automated Mobility (CCAM) systems are however strongly interdependent. In-vehicle technologies and innovative CCAM services must be accompanied by physical and digital infrastructure solutions, appropriate business models, integration with traffic management and other mobility services. In addition, regulatory frameworks need to be effectively rolled out to have a high impact for overall mobility. Harmonised policies and standardisation are also essential to enable cross-border mobility and interoperable and seamless services with automated and connected vehicles. In particular in the transition context, given that positions, responsibilities and potentially liabilities are shifting in the value chain, an alignment of stakeholders on visions and common understanding of new roles is required.
This necessity of cross sector collaboration in Europe for the development, testing and deployment of CAD has been highlighted in the Declaration of Amsterdam in 2016.The final report of the GEAR 2030 high-level group and lately the Communication from the European Commission “On the road to automated mobility: An EU strategy for mobility of the future” has provided similar conclusions. https://knowledge-base.connectedautomateddriving.eu/roadmaps/list-strategies/
AV stakeholders are already collaborating through EU funded projects, international harmonisation initiatives and standardisation platforms. Raising awareness about past and ongoing initiatives to avoid duplication of efforts and exchange of lessons learned is therefore essential. Since 2013, a series of EU funded coordination and support actions coordinated by ERTICO, namely VRA (Vehicle Road Automation), CARTRE and lately ARCADE have brought together a large network of stakeholders together with the ERTRAC CAD working group and driven consensus building across stakeholders on challenges, needs and requirements for Connected Automated Driving, eventually leading to building harmonised views and methodologies. The ARCADE project recently developed an online Knowledge Base (https://connectedautomateddriving.eu/) gathering up-to-date information on CCAM-related R&I projects and pilot activities in Europe and beyond, regulations and policies, standards, and impact assessment and data sharing methodologies. The Knowledge Base provides a means of exchanging knowledge, best practices and lessons learned on CCAM, supporting the commitment of the Declaration of Amsterdam. The CCAM Single Platform set up by the European Commission in 2019 has also brought together Member States and private actions involved in CCAM to advise the European Commission on future R&I needs for testing and pre-deployment of CCAM.
Who is doing it well, and why?
At city level, some local ecosystems for collaboration have been set up and are working well; pilots are organised in closed environments or on open roads by municipalities or public authorities in collaboration with the industry, local research organisations and users to evaluate the impacts and user acceptance of automated shuttles or vehicles. Lessons learned are however not systematically shared between cities, Member States or even among EU funded projects. This is happening because the collaboration needed is much more difficult when multiple sectors and competing industry players are involved. This competition can be mitigated with the identification of clear win-win scenarios that address common challenges and that can therefore can benefit everyone.
The TM2.0 innovation platform coordinated by ERTICO, for example, brings together more than 40 members from all ITS sectors including public authorities as well as competing service providers to develop common interfaces, principles and business models to facilitate the exchange of data between vehicles and Traffic Management Centres. This has been proved successful as it benefits both the individual users and authorities.
How is ERTICO collaborating with others?
The research and innovation projects, which ERTICO is leading or involved in, are all initiatives based on cooperation. ERTICO currently manages over twenty research, pilot and deployment projects engaging the majority of its Partners. As a Public-Private Partnership of 120 organisations committed to fostering the development and deployment of smart mobility in Europe and beyond, ERTICO is working with automotive, ITS technology providers, public sector, and research institutions in supporting the coordination of CCAM related research and piloting activities in Europe. A major objective for ERTICO is to contribute to the roadmaps for CCAM, identifying priorities for decision makers on deployment and supporting testing and validation of technologies, which require a strong alignment on views from all sectors.
Projects like ARCADE, CONCORDA, 5G-MOBIX, Autopilot all coordinated by ERTICO have cooperation between stakeholders at their core, either to build consensus among stakeholders for harmonised views on challenges, solutions and methodologies, or for R&I, testing and piloting to ensure interoperability of functions and services across borders and across technology providers.
ERTICO also manages the Innovation Platforms ADASIS and SENSORIS, which look at the market deployment and opportunities. These platforms gather multiple stakeholders from the automotive industry, service providers and public authorities and are developing standards for driver assistance interface specifications and V-2-cloud data upload interface respectively that are very relevant for automated mobility.
What areas would benefit most from industry-wide collaboration, and why?
Testing and safety validation as well as impact assessment require common methodologies for comparability of results and harmonised procedures. For automated vehicles functions, many different driving scenarios will need to be evaluated and critical situations will have to be identified. As automation levels increase, procedures and approaches will need to be improved and the development of common databases for scenarios or edge cases will be essential. The definition and specification of the Operational Design Domain (ODD) for Automated Vehicles also requires collaboration between different stakeholders as it is influenced by many factors including in-vehicle technologies, infrastructure and other driving environment factors.
The AV world presents a series of different interests and stakeholders who more than ever need to cooperate towards a shared vision, common goals, priorities, methodologies and governance models beyond sectorial barriers.
This article was originally published in Autonomous Vehicles International.