The Automation Working Group was formed under the iMobility Forum with the initial high level aims of exploring and promoting the potential of highly automated vehicles and applications and working towards the development of a roadmap for the deployment of automated systems.

Achim Beutner Specialist for Automation & Active Safety at VOLVO Group Trucks Technology Advance Technology & Research and Maarten Oonk Market Manager of Transport and Mobility at TNO (working on behalf of the ERTICO Research Sector Platform) were elected as co-chairs of the Automation Working Group. For Achim the Working Group “provides a unique opportunity to bring together stakeholders from throughout the ITS community to work on a common goal of assessing the steps which must be taken before automation can be a reality of everyday life”.

In October 2011 the European Commission DG INFSO held a workshop on automation for road transport with the aim of exploring and promoting the potential of highly automated vehicles and applications for intelligent and sustainable mobility. Additional requirements for automation including HMI user acceptance standardisation and certification liability and legal aspects were presented and discussed in addition to application areas such as cooperative systems urban and inter-urban mobility platooning and freight and logistics. The high level of participation and broad range of conclusions from this event demonstrated a clear remit for further work to be carried out therefore encouraging the creation of a dedicated Working Group by the iMobility Forum.

On 7 March 2012 the Automation Working Group kick off meeting thus took place in Brussels with around 30 attendees from over 25 different organisations ranging from research institutes to suppliers and other membership associations.

Discussion was focused on defining the aims of the Working Group – in itself no simple task given the wide and complex range of issues to be solved on the journey towards the deployment of automated driving technologies! Questions such as how to define a common terminology how to assess the state of the art and how best to work with relevant experts on the legal and liability aspects of automation were debated.

As Maarten summarised “the level of interest and the range of different perspectives offered at the kick-off meeting clearly demonstrates that figuring out how to solve these problems is a valuable and worthwhile task to take on”.

The Automation Working Group will focus its initial efforts on agreeing on terminology and structuring the work plan by mapping the components and aspects of automation. And the first steps towards cooperation with other stakeholders notably its fellow iMobility Forum Working Group dedicated to legal issues in ITS will be made.

The next meeting will take place in Brussels on 22 May 2012.

For more information please visit the Working Group webpage on iCar Support website or directly contact Maarten or Achim

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Original Publication Date: Tue 20 Mar 2012