Last modified on September 28, 2023

A new form of collaboration on automated mobility in Austria

28 September 2023

Automated mobility plays an important role in the transformation towards a sustainable mobility system. It offers new opportunities and potential for reducing the negative effects of transport on the environment and for increasing road safety and inclusion. At the same time, the introduction of automated mobility requires comprehensive consideration and support so that the positive aspects can also unfold, and ultimately the mobility transformation towards a mobility system from which everyone benefits equally can only succeed through the joint action of all actors.

In the past, the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) defined strategies with regard to automated mobility in Austria, such as the Automated Driving Action Plan or the Automated Mobility Action Package, and thus created framework conditions for automated mobility in Austria. The focus here was on transparent information as well as knowledge and competence building, including research funding, which made it possible to build up extensive expertise on the topic of automated mobility in Austria – for detailed actions see the monitoring reports on automated mobility in Austria.

Aggelos Soteropoulos (left) and Michael Nikowitz(right)

Automated mobility is characterised by a very high level of dynamic and constantly new developments, which also require that framework conditions, strategies and priorities in research and development, as well as from a legal and social perspective, must be adapted accordingly. In addition, there is currently an increasing focus on the implementation and deployment of automated mobility from test to regular operation. In order to define and realise the implementation paths of automated mobility along a sustainable transport system in Austria, further strategies only on behalf of the BMK alone appear to be decisive. Rather, a new form of cooperation between all stakeholders in the field of automated mobility is required, i.e., a holistic cooperation in which stakeholders in the field of automated mobility not only from the public sector but also from industry, infrastructure and research show willingness to actively shape and participate and make their contribution to the realisation of automated mobility.

At the European level, the CCAM Partnership is already a cooperation structure between a wide variety of actors in the field of automated mobility with a particular focus on research in the field of automated mobility and is seen as very beneficial. Austria is also represented as a member of the organisation by the BMK and AustriaTech – the federal government’s agency for technology policy measures – as well as numerous other actors. In addition, European projects such as SHOW, AWARD  or FAME, in which AustriaTech is involved make a significant contribution to knowledge building and transfer between actors in the field of automated mobility in Europe. In FAME for example, AustriaTech collects the legal framework conditions for testing automated vehicles on public roads in the various European countries and also transfers essential findings from the projects to the BMK and other Austrian actors. Successful examples of cooperation structures from other countries such as SAAM (Swiss Association for Autonomous Mobility) in Switzerland, Drive Sweden in Sweden or SIP-adus in Japan show, however, that such a network of actors is of particular importance at the national level in order to establish stronger networking between the national actors as well as knowledge transfer and exchange. In addition, relevant content from the respective national perspective can also be integrated more strongly into the CCAM Partnership and strategies at the EU level. In SAAM, coordination is very much from the side of the public operators but also includes private sector actors and research. Drive Sweden is a broad strategic innovation programme that is funded by the public sector and not only implements measures and projects in the area of CCAM but also sets activities that promote a sustainable transport system overall. SIP-adus is also an instrument that is strongly driven by the public sector, but which specifically includes private-sector actors and research. All three models ultimately succeed in promoting the topic of automated mobility within the framework of dialogues as well as through activities, measures and projects and show that increased cooperation between the actors is also important at the national level. In Austria, such cooperation between actors is currently increasingly discussed within the sector and will likely soon result in a new joint initiative and form of collaboration in automated mobility. The key will be to cooperate and to jointly perform the necessary alignment processes to bridge the gap from test to regular operations and the increased implementation of automated mobility, as well as to jointly set priorities in implementation, research and development.

Authors:

Aggelos Soteropoulos, Senior Expert Automated Mobility & Safety

AustriaTech – Federal Agency for Technological Measures Ltd., Austria

Michael Nikowitz, Coordinator Automated Driving

Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Austria