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EU logistics automation turns its focus to legislation, AWARD workshop
EU | Brussels

EU logistics automation turns its focus to legislation, AWARD workshop

3 Nov 2023 · Prosperity

IRU members and the European Commission exchanged on legislation that can maximise the benefits offered by autonomous vehicles during a recent workshop on the EU’s AWARD project.

As part of the EU-Horizon 2020 All Weather Autonomous Real Logistics Operations and Demonstrations (AWARD) project, IRU is helping pave the way for safe, connected and automated heavy-duty transport systems applicable in real-life logistics operations, including during adverse weather conditions such as fog, heavy snow and rain.

The workshop brought together IRU members, the industry and the European Commission’s European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency, the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, and the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

Before opening the floor to discussion, IRU presented the AWARD project and its use cases, as well as the preliminary recommendations for the testing and deployment of automated vehicles in logistics. Dominik Schallauer, AustriaTech’s Automated Mobility and Safety Expert, shared findings from the AWARD hub-to-hub use case and the Austrian framework for the testing of automated vehicles. Jens Henkner, the CEO of CertX, presented the project’s legislative analysis.

Some of the most important points identified for the future of automated vehicles include mutual recognition of safety assessments by Member State authorities, clearly defined liability for each stakeholder involved during different deployment phases of logistics automation, and harmonised autonomous vehicle identification and signalling across the EU.

Insights and perspectives shared during the workshop by transport operators and the European Commission on the benefits and challenges related to the testing and deployment of connected and automated logistics will be addressed in the final output of the AWARD project.

Discussion and feedback on policy recommendations developed within the scope of the project have already helped operators and the European Commission identify important elements for the project to tackle in the next nine months.

Legislative initiatives across the EU, such as the Automated Driving System Act and other frameworks developed at the national level, have also been recognised as critical to advancing automation safely and efficiently.

The final recommendations for an updated legislation on autonomous vehicles in logistics will be presented in 2024.

AWARD will be holding the first of its final conference series during the SOLUTRANS event in Lyon on 22 November.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 101006817. The content of this  presentation reflects only the author’s view. Neither the European Commission nor the INEA is responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.