Figures, data, and facts
Through investment in the field of automated mobility, the BMK is aiming for an increase in road safety, a reduction in the negative environmental impact of traffic and an increase in competitiveness and securing and creating jobs.
First and foremost, the BMK seeks to ensure a sensible and efficient use of automated mobility in terms of traffic as well as to strengthen Austria’s competitive position on the international stage. First and foremost, it is about liveable public spaces and ensuring a sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility system.
Austria is very well positioned in the field of automated driving and the associated sub systems thanks to the expertise of the local economy, centres of excellence and research institutes. These competencies lay the foundation for automated driving. Presently, numerous companies are active in the automotive industry in Austria, which also includes automated driving. Around a third of these companies are located in Styria.
The BMK has therefore laid down a strategy for automated driving for the coming years in the “Automated Mobility Action Package”. 34 measures and 3 different areas of activities are defined in it, which will be implemented with around 65 million euros, the BMK will support activities in the period from 2019 to 2022.
In addition, the BMK did already investing around 20 million euros between 2016 and 2018 to create a good basis for the development of automated driving in Austria. This included roughly the following amounts:
- 6m Euro for technology funding
- 6m Euro for putting test environments out to tender, with preliminary studies
- 5m Euro for the rapid set-up of test environments and the associated R&D projects
- 1-3m Euro for at least one endowed professorship at Austrian universities
- 0.3m Euro for evaluations and studies
Since the start of the first BMK “Automated Driving” initiative (2016), the following measures have been implemented so far:
- The establishment of a national contact point for automated driving at AustriaTech.
- The establishment of a Department in the BMK for the overall consideration and coordination of automated driving (Focussed mainly on: enabling testing, analysing impact, engaging public sector and society in open dialogue, EU representation).
- The establishment of an interdisciplinary Council of Experts for evaluating test applications and advising the BMK. This is made up of members who hail from the traffic organisation, business, science, civil society and administration fields.
- The creation of a regulatory framework for testing on public roads through amendments to motor vehicle legislation (KfG) (2016), and the production of a Regulation concerning automated driving (version dated 19 December 2016).
- Ongoing tests on Austrian roads (motorway pilot scheme with lane-holding assistance, self-driving military lorries and self-driving minibuses).
- The start of the first test environment in Austria in the autumn of 2017. With “ALP.Lab” (Austrian Light Vehicle Proving Region for Automated Driving), the first test environment in Austria was evaluated in Styria and the set-up begun.
- The start of the set-up of another test environment - “DigiTrans” - in North Central Austria (Linz – Wels – Steyr) in the spring of 2018. DigiTrans focusses on requirements and usage cases for commercial and special vehicles, especially in the area of logistics hubs and on the common use of the infrastructure of test environments for automated mobility.
- Technology funding for R&D projects in the mobility in the future, ICT in the future and safety research fields.
- Set-up of Europe’s first test environment for automatic trains on open line in Burgenland. Starting probably in autumn 2018, new railway technologies and level crossings will be researched in the “Open.RailLab”. Among other things, this should serve to prevent accidents.
- Set-up and commissioning of pilot projects related to self-driving minibuses (“Digibus®Austria”) and the evaluation of the impact of more energy-efficient, networked lorry convoys (“Connecting Austria”)
- Implementation of extensive impact analyses, for the overall consideration of theimpact of automated driving on system effects
- The establishment of an endowed professorship (University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna) (BOKU) in order to expand the scientific expertise in the digitalisation and automation fields
- Representing Austria at the international level (EU, UNECE, etc.)
- Host of the 4th High-Level Dialogue on Automated and Connected Mobility in communication with the member states. Under the motto “Beyond SAE Levels: Towards Safe & Sustainable Mobility”, experts from all member states, the European Commission, from industrial and consumers’ associations and research discussed legal, organisational and transport policy implementation perspectives of integrated automated mobility services, such as shuttles and pods.
- Creation of a new action plan for automated mobility. With around 65 million euros, the BMK supports activities in the period of 2019 to 2022.
The safe introduction of automated vehicles requires extensive testing of these new technologies and their sub-systems.
This should be made possible by the funded set-up and operation of test environments and R&D pilot projects.