By Raluca Marian – General Delegate of the IRU Permanent Delegation to the EU
We often hear from our members about the importance of reliable and complete information on new technologies. The ARCADE CAD Knowledge Base is a platform for sharing such information with a view to facilitating the development of safe and workable automation solutions that meet existing challenges. It brings together valuable insights and is a useful tool for transport operators who wish to know more about the deployment or piloting of Connected Automated Driving (CAD).
CAD has the potential to improve road safety and contribute to decarbonisation, but we will only be able to maximise its benefits for society if all sectors are able to efficiently share experiences and quickly access information on regulations. This is why IRU is prioritising CAD in its research and innovation activities.
We are working on the following areas so that transport operators can reap the benefits of CAD:
- Safety: Technical standards for the operation of autonomous vehicles need to be harmonised and interoperable. Technology must be robust and rigorously tested to ensure functioning in various weather and traffic conditions. During the transition phase, trials in a controlled area and at specific times should be encouraged. It is vital that these trials involve the professional transport operators that will be deploying these technologies in the future.
- Data: Security of data in relation to CAD has been a topic of lively debate. An adequate regulatory framework for business to business data flows is needed. Vehicles fitted with digital systems can produce up to 25GB of data every hour. As CAD develops, this could increase to terabytes of data1. An EU legal framework is needed to clarify the rights of operators regarding the data they generate, particularly data access, use and reuse. The responsibility and liability of data aggregators should also be defined.
- Social impact: With automated driving, jobs in road transport will change radically and the sector will need a clear vision for the future of its human resources. Transport workers and operators must be properly trained to meet new digital challenges. Equally important will be support measures to facilitate the transition for SMEs. It is essential to ensure an equal and level playing field to prevent monopolies within the automated transport industry.
Initiatives like the CAD Knowledge Base will benefit decision makers, operators and drivers. CAD deployment is still in its infancy, but piloting activities are well underway and self-driving shuttles are already operating in some areas.
IRU is the voice of more than 3.5 million road transport operators in over 80 countries. Our involvement in projects like ARCADE and Drive2theFuture is vital to drive a swift transition to CAD that is safe, secure and sustainable. Together with our members, we will continue to highlight the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing with and within the commercial road transport sector as we move towards the future of mobility.
1 source: EU Data Strategy