Autonomous mobility 1, 2016

Automated Driving Action Plan 2016-2018



Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology


In Austria, autonomous vehicles are considered to be a central element of long-term transportation policy, that is ultimately human-centred. An Action Plan was formulated in collaboration with 140 experts from the fields of economics, tech R&D and the public sector. It proposes 9 measures for the 2016-18 period that are to be iteratively developed and refined in light of data and insights. The Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology committed on the order of 20 million Euros to create the foundations for developing autonomous driving in Austria, in the hope that it would be followed by similar investment by other actors, like industry and other authorities.
The Ministry has been pursuing a holistic approach to the modernisation of Austria’s entire transportation system. It has a similar Action Plan on intelligent traffic systems, a strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), an implementation plan on e-mobility, and more. With the Action Plan, the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology has set clear priorities and steps for the future implementation and use of automated vehicles and mobility services, thus starting a long-term process
To develop the Action Plan 4 working groups were formed with well-defined goals. They tackled the legal and infrastructural requirements of performing AV testing; the systems-level architecture required for connectivity between vehicles and infrastructure; the development of user-centered and action-oriented use-cases and scenarios; and the necessary digital infrastructure, such as video detection, HD maps, traffic control, etc.
The Action Plan states that the development of autonomous driving is still in its early phases of development, especially, if one considers its broader aspects beyond mere technology readiness levels. Therefore, it proposes the adoption of a more encompassing, impact-oriented approach. Use-cases and scenarios are especially helpful in drawing out the various issues, capacities and criteria that different cases highlight. In the context of the Action Plan, seven scenarios and use-cases were developed together with a broad range of stakeholders. These scenarios were evaluated according to the key criteria of safety, efficiency, sustainability, and value creation, which resulted in the selection of 3 use-cases as priorities for immediate implementation. 
  • Use case “Security+ through 360° view” - drawing on predictive sensing assistance systems can intervene in the process of driving to avoid dangers. Information from other vehicles on the road as well as from the traffic infrastructure feed into these systems, thereby increasing safety in the immediate environment of the vehicle.

  • Use case “New Flexibility - Automated vehicles offer new, user-friendly transportation options. In particular as feeder systems to public transport nodes in urban and rural areas. On-demand not only increases the flexibility of mobility users but also relieves the environment.

  • Use case “Well Supplied” - Increasingly automated freight transport and optimized feeder services with efficient long-haul transports and corresponding concepts for the "last mile".

  • [/ul]
    These three use-cases form the basis of the 9 concrete measures outlined in the Action Plan 2016-2018. 

    1. Enable test drives through an amendment of the Motor Vehicles Act and statutory authorization.

    2. Develop a Code of Practice to establish and unify the conditions of conducting AV tests, covering issues from licensing requirements to questions of liability.

    3. Initiate 4-6 preliminary studies for setting up test environments (€1m funding)

    4. Construction and operation of integrated test environments and structures (€10m funding for 2-3 test environments for the first 3 years)

    5. Develop a technology promotion portfolio that strengthens the synergies between other R&D and Innovation programmes, such as Mobility of the Future and ICT of the Future, and strengthen international collaborations (funding €6m for 3 years)

    6. Expand the digital infrastructure in collaboration with industry, the Austrian autobahn corporation, telco companies, and municipalities

    7. Build scientific competences through funded professorships in topics like autonomous vehicle operation, and traffic operation and planning of AVs

    8. Develop evaluation tools and detailed scientific impact analysis, including public acceptance and ethics (funding: €300k, including the definition of KPIs)

    9. Establish a contact point for automated driving to develop competencies in the AustriaTech and to act as an advice centre.

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