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Safe and connected automation in road transport

Specific challenge: Automated and progressively autonomous driving applications in road transport, actively interacting with their intelligent environment could provide an answer to the EU objective of reconciling growing mobility needs with more efficient transport operations, lower environmental impacts and increased road safety.

Automation in road transport should make best use of the evolution of Cooperative ITS and the benefits made available by satellite navigation systems, such as the increased accuracy and robustness. Connectivity and cooperative mobility will be the key driving force for integrating automation into novel mobility concepts enabled by the European Wide Service Platforms (EWSP). Security and safety aspects of these systems are also crucial

Scope: Proposals could be Research and Innovation Actions or Coordination and Support Actions.

Research and Innovation Action proposals should address one or more of the following aspects to support gradual progress towards full automation:

      Dedicated supporting technologies for individual pre-emption or compensation of human errors, or even taking over the vehicle control in case of imminent collision. This could include:  Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to support drivers in accident avoidance and to mitigate the consequences of collisions, including tools to detect and measure undesirable or unusual driver condition (such as drowsiness) and warn, control and correct that behaviour at different levels; better optimised Human Machine Interfaces (HMI), providing tailor-made information which the driver is capable of processing in continuously changing conditions.

      Novel transport, service and mobility concepts in real-life situations enabled by automated driving and connectivity. These services and concepts could benefit from cloud computing and data management and data aggregation techniques for road transport big data. They could also include automation specific to the road freight sector, including smart, secure on-board and infrastructure based-systems and seamless integration with other modes. In this context, particular attention could be given to demonstrating freight services/road trains. Attention should be paid to understanding and addressing the responses of users.

All proposals should include an assessment of the effectiveness of the relevant solutions in real life conditions based on a multi-stakeholder engagement process, in particular involving drivers. Ethical and gender issues in compensating for human errors should be duly taken into consideration.

Coordination and Support Action proposals should address one or more of the following aspects:

      Dissemination and take-up of results, including the development and consensus building on business models to progress towards full automation in road transport.

      Liability and standardisation policy and regulatory framework recommendations could be formulated as appropriate.

In line with the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation[1] international cooperation is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 to 10 million each for Research and Innovation Actions would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Projects should contribute to:

      Reduction of the automated driving systems’ development costs, as well as raising competitiveness of the European industry in developing breakthrough technological solutions.

      Enhanced robustness and performance of sensor and data analysis systems and optimised HMI and advice strategies together with unobtrusive methods for measuring workload, distraction and fatigue.

      Improved efficiency, safety and traffic flow through better use of the existing infrastructure capacity, and reduction of emissions.

Type of action: 1) Research and Innovation Actions; 2) Coordination and Support Actions

[1]     COM(2012)497