SSH Rate

Automation pilots for passenger cars

Specific Challenge

It is expected that automated vehicles at automation level 3 (Conditional Automation) will enter the market by 2020 to 2025. In the past years, there have been significant efforts in research to develop the technologies for vehicles and infrastructure to enable automated driving functions. However, substantial challenges remain on the path to a European wide deployment. There is a great need to demonstrate the technological readiness, reliability and safety of the automated driving functions in a large scale pilot at European scale. Before the market introduction, it is important to test automated cars in mixed traffic situations, analyse the interaction between the driver, the cars and the traffic environment, study the behaviour of other traffic participants and get an insight into automated driving under different conditions (e.g. traffic intensity, weather, lighting, etc.). In addition these pilots should assess the viability of different business models to ensure investments are done by those benefiting the most. For implementing large scale testing, Member States may need to adapt their regulatory framework and solve liability issues in case of accidents with automated vehicles.


The action will integrate and test enabling technologies for automation level 3 (Conditional Automation) and evaluate the benefits in Field Operational Tests (FOTs) for passenger cars. Possible additional functions towards level 4 (High Automation) can also be tested, although the focus of the FOT should be on technologies for automation level 3. This needs the active involvement of all stakeholders such as car manufacturers, automotive suppliers, road users, insurance companies, road and traffic authorities, the EU Member States, etc., because the responsibility and liability of all stakeholders relating to the testing, demonstrating and use of automated cars requires clarification before market introduction. The FOTs should take place in at least 3 different countries. Automation pilots for all driving situations (i.e. from highway to urban) are within scope. If proposals include FOTs on highways, testing across borders should be considered. Consortia should commit to make the data collected during the pilots available through common data sharing frameworks in order to foster further research.

The automation pilots should consider all the following aspects:

  • Demonstrate the robustness and reliability (functional safety) of technologies, systems and functions needed to support the gradual progress towards full automation, in particular from level 2 – Partial Automation (human driver monitors the driving environment) to level 3 (Conditional Automation) including possible additional functions towards level 4 (High Automation).
  • Evaluate effects of automated driving systems (e.g. on traffic flow, communication, etc.) in a mixed traffic environment with automated and non-automated vehicles and under different conditions (e.g. traffic intensity, weather, lighting, etc.).
  • Analyse user acceptance and behaviour; study interaction between the driver, the vehicles and the traffic environment and behaviour of other traffic participants.
  • Focus on the in-vehicle evaluation of the driver under real traffic conditions in particular during the transition of control from the vehicle system to the driver and vice versa, e.g. expectations, adoption, acceptance, trust, usability driver position; human-vehicle interaction, monitoring strategies; investigate intended and unintended use of the system and possible mitigation solutions; evaluate fail operational solutions (e.g. emergency stop). Gender balanced representation of the reference group should be ensured and data analysed in a disaggregated way.
  • Conduct impact assessment (e.g. safety, energy use, pollutant emissions, traffic congestion, mobility behaviour, social inclusion, use of transport services, etc.) on real world data sets.
  • Establish a pan-European common catalogue on necessary characteristics of cooperative decision, planning and control algorithms, including self-adaptation and learning features and ethical questions.
  • Fulfil all security requirements to protect the system to any threats and avoid any conscious manipulations of the information enabling automated driving systems.

Proposed actions may consider C-ITS communication and European GNSS as a possibility to improve the safety and reliability of automated transport systems in the future.

The size of proposals will depend on the geographical coverage of the large scale demonstrations.

Consideration should be taken of gender aspects and other demographic factors such as ageing, etc.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 18 to 36 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

Actions are expected to demonstrate the technological readiness, reliability and safety of the automated driving functions in a large scale pilot at European scale. They will test automated vehicles at automation level 3 (including possible additional functions towards automation level 4) in mixed traffic situations. Actions are expected to demonstrate that automated driving systems for passenger vehicles can contribute to increase road safety and transport efficiency, reduce energy use, pollutant emissions and traffic congestions, and therefore support climate action and sustainable development objectives. This action will provide significant contributions in the following areas:

  • User acceptance and the interaction between the driver, the vehicles and the traffic environment (including other road users) in different real traffic conditions.
  • Wider socio-economic impacts of automated driving and the benefits for the driver in terms of mobility, comfort, convenience and safety and analyse specific issues related to gender and other demographic factors such as ageing, etc.
  • Uptake of new automated transport business models.
  • Benefits resulting from the interaction between automated driving technologies and V2X communication (connected driving).
Call ID
ART-02-2016 - IA Innovation action
Application date
29 Sep 2016
European Union
Social sciences Business and Administrative Sciences Communication Sciences Demography Economics Environmental Sciences Gender Studies Geography International Relations Law Pedagogic & Education Research Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
H2020 programme type
Societal Challenges Societal challenge 4: Smart, green and integrated transport
Award granted
€ 36.000.000