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Minister Dobrindt signs Innovation Charter for Digital Motorway Test Bed

Source: Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure

Federal Minister Alexander Dobrindt signed the Innovation Charter for the Digital Motorway Test Bed in Berlin today. The cosignatories of the Charter are representatives of the Free State of Bavaria, the automobile industry and the IT industry.

In the Innovation Charter, all stakeholders declare their willingness to jointly set up and operate the Digital Motorway Test Bed on the A9 motorway in Bavaria. On this route, Mobility 4.0 innovations are to be tested, evaluated and further developed.

Alexander Dobrindt, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure

Automated and connected driving represents the biggest mobility revolution since the invention of the automobile. Vehicles communicate with other vehicles and with the infrastructure. They identify hazards which result from accidents and congestion and react in real time. With the Digital Motorway Test Bed, we are bringing the automotive future to the road. The route is open to all innovative enterprises: automotive manufacturers, suppliers, digital enterprises and research institutions. They can all test their developments on the most modern express road of the world in actual traffic.

Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA):

Connected and automated vehicles will make driving even more safe, comfortable and efficient. For this reason, the German automotive industry is consistently progressing the digital evolution in and around the automobile. Our manufacturers and suppliers want to assume a leading role in connected and automated driving, and we will spend 16 to 18 billion euros on research and development in this area in the next three to four years alone to make this possible. Digitalization is an important and, in the international context, highly competitive field at the cutting edge of technology. Therefore, policy makers and the industry should take a strong lead and, in doing so, strengthen Germany as a location for business and science. The Digital Motorway Test Bed makes a major contribution to this.

Thorsten Dirks, President of the Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitkom):

The future of mobility is digital and it is connected. Tomorrow's automobile will drive autonomously in intelligent transport networks while communicating permanently with its surroundings. It provides the opportunity to bring passengers more safely to their destination than any other means of transport before. We have joined forces with other innovation partners to do everything we can and make the vision of autonomous, resource-conserving and very safe transport reality as fast as possible. Setting up the Digital Motorway Test Bed on the A9 motorway already signifies a great leap forward and represents an important element for Germany to take a leading role in the world in the future market of connected mobility.

Marcel Huber, Head of the Bavarian State Chancellery and Minister of State for Federal Affairs and Special Duties

This is a good day for Germany's automotive industry. The signing of the Charter marks a clear commitment to the innovative capacity and the promotion of the key automotive industry. Bavaria is proud of its diversity of creative ideas and innovative approaches which are being progressed in our country. With the Test Bed agreed today, we want to actively shape the development of the mobility of the future. We consider the intelligent automobile of tomorrow an important element of our Bayern Digital initiative for the future.

The Digital Motorway Test Bed is being set up on the busy A9 federal motorway in Bavaria. On the Digital Motorway Test Bed, pioneering technologies of automated and connected driving are to be tested under real conditions. To make this possible, the infrastructure of the route will be fully digitalized, equipped with sensor technology and connected to innovative projects along the A9 motorway. The first digitalization measures will be launched before the end of this year.

The focus is on real time car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communications. This can be achieved by means of the latest transmission technologies. The future mobile radio standard 5G which, as a successor of the LTE standard, offers considerably higher bandwidths and facilitates faster data transmission is also to be used on this route. The long-term objective is the fully connected road.

The Digital Motorway Test Bed is a technology neutral offer to industry and the research community and can be used by all stakeholders from the automotive industry, the digital economy and academia from home and abroad who are interested in testing their innovations.
The Digital Motorway Test Bed will become a seal of quality for the German Autobahn. For the first time, automated and connected driving is transferred from the laboratory to one of the most modern express roads of the world: the German motorway.
Germany is leading innovations in the automotive sector until today. With the Digital Motorway Test Bed, this innovation leadership is to be defended also in the digital age. Germany want to reinforce its leading position and become a lead market for digital technologies.