Message from the 2019 EUCAR Chairman

As the pace of technological and societal change accelerates, new visions of tomorrow’s mobility are emerging. More than ever, pre-competitive research projects are crucial for the automotive industry in developing innovative mobility solutions aligned with societal demands and upcoming challenges.

I hold a firm belief that digitalisation and automation in road transport will play a vital role in shaping the transformation of our industry as we head into a new age of mobility. This will change the way we are moving from A to B and eventually also the way vehicles are used, sold and owned in the future. Connectivity will enable an entirely new level of co-operation between all participants in the road transport sector, including vehicles, road users and road authorities. This new era of connected mobility will also contribute to increasing overall efficiency and achieving the zero-emission targets set for 2050.

The transition to connected and automated mobility will have a seismic impact on the automotive industry, also changing the nature of our workforce and society at large. As we are one of the key players in developing cutting edge technology and services tailored to this new ecosystem, our industry’s vision is for Europe to be a world leader in safe and automated mobility. This will lead to new jobs, economic growth, decrease of congestion and an increase in new mobility solutions.

The L3Pilot research initiative exemplifies our commitment as European automobile manufacturers to further investigate the potential of automated driving to facilitate tomorrow’s mobility. Under the leadership of the Volkswagen Group, 13 auto manufacturers, suppliers, research institutes and universities, and small and mid-sized companies from across the EU will operate 100 vehicles with 1000 drivers in the public transport system in order to test automated driving systems in conformity with level 3 and level 4 under real conditions and for a wide range of applications. The broad spectrum of different driving situations covered by L3Pilot means that it is the first project worldwide to implement and test such comprehensive functions of automated driving in practice.

Within EUCAR, we strive for long-term collaboration by joining forces in a targeted way and benefitting from synergies. We seek to provide a common insight into current research and innovation projects tackling challenges in the fields of safe and integrated mobility, sustainable propulsion, virtual engineering and manufacturing and commercial vehicles. Constructive dialogue between public and private partners fosters European automotive innovation. We need European solutions in a globalised world, enabling us to stay connected wherever we go. This is a matter of improving the quality of life for everyone.

As this year’s EUCAR chairman I am looking forward to being part of a team that aims to connect the dots between societal and environmental challenges, innovative technology and European standardisation in a dynamic way.

Together we will invent, create and shape the future.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Axel Heinrich
EUCAR Chairman 2019
Executive Director Group Research at Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft