Digitalization opens up new ways of meeting the requirements of the constantly growing need for mobility with a higher level of convenience and more safety. One of the Federal Government’s objectives is the introduction of automated and connected driving in road transport. On 16 September 2015, the Federal Government adopted its "Strategy for Automated and Connected Driving – Remain a lead provider, become a lead market, introduce regular operations" (ACD Strategy), following a proposal by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and based on recommendations by the Round Table on Automated Driving. This strategy provided guidance for exploiting the opportunities for growth and prosperity offered by Mobility 4.0.
These technologies, in combination with Intelligent Transport Systems, can reduce the incidence of critical traffic situations, significantly improve the flow of traffic, relieve the pressure on drivers, generate additional wealth creation and protect the environment. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is committed to ensuring that the potential inherent in digitalization for shaping the intelligent mobility of tomorrow is actively harnessed.
Research Programme on Automation and Connectivity in Road Transport
On the basis of the ACD Strategy, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure's Research Programme on Automation and Connectivity in Road Transport provides an impetus for achieving this objective speedily and efficiently. It primarily addresses issues relating to transport and social policy.
The funding focuses on research and trials in the following fields:
- driver/vehicle interaction;
- traffic management and transport planning;
- connectivity and data management;
- social aspects.
Funding Guidelines for Automated and Connected Driving
Against the background of the Federal Government's Strategy, the purpose of these funding guidelines is to provide targeted financial assistance to innovative application-related solutions in the context of automated and connected driving. Its objective is to focus on issues relating to more sophisticated driving functions going beyond partial automation and to support connectivity and communication between the different types of road users and with the infrastructure. To do so, it addresses the four key issues set out in the research programme. Projects to be funded under these funding guidelines are to deliver significant new findings on how automated and connected driving can be integrated into the existing transport system, how functional safety can be ensured throughout the lifetime of a vehicle and what factors can help to bring about widespread acceptance by society.
One outcome of the National Diesel Forum, which was held on 2 August 2017, is that a "Sustainable Mobility for Urban Areas" fund is to be launched to assist local authorities in their longer-term activities to shape sustainable and zero-emission mobility. The objective is to develop a tailor-made "Green City Plan" for regions affected by especially high levels of NO2 emissions within the meaning of Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe and to implement this plan by means of digitalization, Intelligent Transport Systems, intermodal mobility solutions and increasing automation and connectivity in private and local public transport.
For the preparation of their Green City Plans, the regions can receive grants from a special programme under the Funding Guidelines for Automated and Connected Driving of 30 August 2017.
In accordance with the Funding Guidelines for Automated and Connected Driving, eligible parties may submit project outlines until 30 September 2017. It should be noted that it will not be possible to consider outlines received after that date.
Funding Guidelines for Automated and Connected Driving on Digital Test Beds in Germany
The purpose of the Funding Guidelines for Automated and Connected Driving on Digital Test Beds in Germany is to provide targeted financial assistance to innovative application-related solutions in the context of automated and connected driving making use of digital test beds. The projects to be funded are to develop, in particular, solutions that help to generate findings on mixed traffic and on the readiness for commercial application of different automation and connectivity components and their degrees of efficiency. Inter alia, the spotlight is on innovative infrastructure elements that upgrade the functionalities on digital test beds and support automated and connected driving. In this context, connected driving using vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication and sophisticated sensor technology plus real-time communication with the latest transmission standards are thematic focus areas.
Administrative support is provided to the funding scheme for the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure by the VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH project management agency. Decisions on the award of funds will be taken by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
Point of contact: Oliver Buhl
Tel.: + 49 (0)30 31 00 78 534
The funding procedure comprises two stages. In the first stage, project outlines not exceeding 15 pages are to be submitted to the project management agency in electronic form using the following link: https://www.vdivde-it.de/ptavf.
In the second stage, applicants will be invited – if their project outlines have been positively assessed – to submit a formal application for funding using the "easyOnline" application and tendering system. A final decision will be taken once this application has been reviewed.
More detailed procedural information and further points of contact can be found in the funding guidelines.