WE-TRANSFORM First Stakeholder Workshop

The EU-funded WE-TRANSFORM project aims to address both gaps by leveraging stakeholders’ knowledge and experiences to co-create an action-oriented agenda, targeting EU and non-EU administrations, and to prepare well the automation transition and transformation of the workforce in the transport sector. This workshop will launch this process as the first Stakeholder Forum event to involve the community in the project activities, to inform about its objectives and how to become actively engaged in the long run.

The purpose of this workshop is to collect additional input on the State-of-the-Art (i.e. reports, scientific articles, etc.) from similar activities related to impacts of automation and digitalisation for all modes of transport (both passenger and freight), but also other automation-driven sectors, to find out their best practices and understand if they are transferable to WE-TRANSFORM focus.
We wish to gather in this dialogue all actors and interested stakeholders including research, industrial and social partners, relevant networks and associations, employers’ and workers’ representatives, across all transport modes and countries.

Mark your calendar and join the discussion! More detailed information on the agenda and registration (participation is free of charge) will be circulated shortly. Stay tuned and follow us for all updates.

Contact: Julie Castermans, ERTICO – ITS Europe, j.castermans@mail.ertico.com

Road safety impacts of Connected and Automated Vehicles

Connected and automated transport systems (CATS) are expected to be introduced in increasing numbers over the next decades. Moreover, they are expected to have considerable impacts on mobility, safety, the environment and society as a whole. One of the aims of LEVITATE is to forecast these impacts. This article collects the impact of CATS on road safety which has been briefly presented during the last webinar of LEVITATE, as well. Moreover, the article written by Wendy Weijermars (SWOV), Andreas Hula (AIT), Amna Chaudhry (LOUGH), Sasa Sha (LOUGH), Rins de Zwart (SWOV), Celina Mons (SWOV) and Hitesh Boghani (LOUGH) further presents the specific impacts on road safety for the individual sub-use cases and communicates how these expected impacts can be quantified. Conclusions suggest that in normal circumstances, CAVs are expected to have a lower crash rate than human driven vehicles; CAVs make less errors than human drivers, are assumed to respect all traffic rules and are expected to have lower reaction times and less variability in driving behaviour.

Curious about further conclusions drawn in the article? Read the entire article: Road safety impacts of Connected and Automated Vehicles

LEVITATE webinar on road safety assessment of CATS

On 27 May, the 4th LEVITATE webinar took place with more than 80 participants to share the project’s research results about the impact of automated vehicles on road safety.

The interactive webinar was introduced by Andrew Morris (Loughborough University) who shared general information about Levitate with the audience. The webinar was moderated by Wendy Weijermars (SWOV) while Rins de Zwart (SWOV), Amna Chaudry (Loughborough University) and Andreas Hula (AIT) shared their research results on road safety impacts of connected and automated vehicles (CATS). Based on a poll launched during the webinar, most participants expect a considerable improvement in road safety with the introduction of CATS, but they do not expect that all serious crashes can be prevented. LEVITATE’s two-steps approach in the estimation of impacts determines that which ways the road safety is impacted by the development of CATS, and as a second step, the project tries to quantify these impacts as far as possible with the help of literature review and conducting interviews with stakeholders. The audience was proactive and asked several questions to the panelists which has been answered live or written during the event.

Curious about the presented impacts on road safety and the outcomes of the discussion? Watch the recorded webinar here:

Delphi method to measure impacts of automated vehicles

The Delphi method is a process used to arrive at a collective, aggregate group opinion or decision by surveying a panel of experts. This concept was developed by the RAND Corporation for the military in order to forecast the effects of new military technology on the future of warfare, and then continued to make multiple practical applications of this method (Dalkey & Helmer, 1963). The Delphi methodology is based on a repetitive interview process in which the respondent can review his or her initial answers and thus change the overall information on each topic (Hsu & Sandford, 2007). This presupposes that the participants will be willing to not only give answers on the topics but also to repeat the interview in possibly more than two cycles.

Within LEVITATE, the Delphi method is used to determine all impacts that cannot be defined by the other quantitative methods (traffic microsimulation/system dynamics). Initially, a long list of experts were identified for each use case, and contacted via an introductory mail asking them to express the willingness of participation. Those who responded positively (70 experts) participated in the main Delphi process.

If you want to know more about the Delphi studies conducted in the frame of Levitate, including the list of impacts and result introduction to the Policy Support Tool, read our article from the National Technical University of Athens.

LEVITATE participates in 3rd annual meeting of Robomobile Life

The 3rd annual meeting of the Robomobile Life initiative will take place on 19 and 20 May to explore the role that local authorities (cities, regions) can play in steering the emergence and evolution of automated mobility. LEVITATE will contribute to this workshop along with the Polis secretariat.

Initiated by the French Ministry for Ecological Transition in 2017, the “robomobile life” series of  foresight workshops aims to foster thinking, exploration, questioning, reflection and debate on all subjects and matters related to robomobility. The workshops seek to create a better understanding of the key issues and long-term choices that decision-makers from both the public and private sectors may have to deal with in the coming years and decades, here in France and abroad.

The decade 2021-2030 could see the deployment of the first transport services provided by automated vehicles. This implementation will be gradual, targeted and regulated and should be driven by genuine use cases that meet mobility needs that are poorly or insufficiently covered by the existing offer. These first stages of putting transport automation into service in real conditions will be decisive.

  • To what extent can a city choose the robomobile model that suits it best?
  • What influence will local/regional government stakeholders have on the different socio-technical models associated with automation?
  • What will be the the rules of the game and who will set them?

This third annual meeting aims to provide reflection on these questions. This event has been designed to give participants the possibility to compose their own tailor-made programme. The sessions are independent of each other. An English-speaking track is open to all international attendants and all plenaries will be translated from French to English.


For further information and to register »

Monetary impacts of connected and automated vehicles

Deliverable D3.3 of LEVITATE deals with converting impacts of connected and automated vehicles to monetary terms. Converting impacts to monetary terms is needed to include them in cost-benefit analyses.

One of the objectives of LEVITATE is to develop a tool for performing cost-benefit analyses of policies designed to maximise the societal benefits of introducing connected and automated vehicles. This tool will be part of the Policy Support Tool developed by LEVITATE. Can everything be converted into monetary terms when it comes to the impact of automated vehicles?

Read Rune Elvik’s article from the Norwegian Institute of Transport Economics »


LEVITATE webinar: Road safety assessment of automated vehicles

Connected and automated transport systems (CATS) are expected to be introduced in increasing numbers over the next decades. Moreover, they are expected to have considerable impacts on mobility, safety, the environment and society as a whole. The Horizon 2020 project LEVITATE aims to forecast these impacts.

One of the impacts of CATS that is considered in LEVITATE is road safety, which is high on the agenda when it comes to mobility planning and management. First of all, it is identified in which ways road safety is affected by increasing penetration levels of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) and policy interventions related to CATS. Second, it is discussed what is known from the literature concerning road safety impacts of CATS and finally, road safety impacts are quantified as far as possible by combining various approaches.

During this webinar between 14:00-15:30 CEST, 27 May, we would like to discuss with you which road safety impacts can be expected from CATS and how the different types of impacts are quantified within LEVITATE. Several partners will present their findings including Loughborough University, SWOV – Institute for Road Safety Research and the Austrian Institute of Technology.


  1. Welcome and introduction – Andrew Morris & Wendy Weijermars
  2. Road safety impacts of CATS that can be expected  – Rins de Zwart
  3. Questions and feedback – Moderator, Wendy Weijermars
  4. Quantification of impacts within Levitate:
    1. Approach: Rins de Zwart
    2. Estimation of impacts using microsimulation – Amna Chaudhry
    3. Estimation of impacts on Vulnerable Road Users – Andreas Hula
  5. Closing remarks – Wendy Weijermars
  6. Questions and feedback concerning the quantification and closing remarks – Moderator, Wendy Weijermars


Could the introduction of Automated Vehicles (CAVs) be one of the solutions to increase road safety?
Join us to find the answers!
Register here »

Backcasting city dialogues: Feasible paths of interventions – the case of Vienna

The impact of connected and automated transport systems (CATS) in several areas also has strong implications on a very central question of urban development: Given a certain vision based on a set of quantified policy goals for a city or a region, which supporting role take recommended policy interventions related to CATS to achieve that vision? This article provides a short overview of the backcasting approach applied in LEVITATE that addresses this question.

From a cities’ perspective the advent of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) is not a strategic goal by itself. Rather, they are welcome if they are able to contribute to the defined smart city goals and have to support a livable city. Improvements in road safety or reductions in the demand for public parking space are promising candidates for such supported goals, with quantitative investigation of impacts currently ongoing in the project. But there are some other impact areas where an increasing market penetration of CAVs (without specific regulations) might be in conflict with the strategic goals of a city: empty AVs avoiding parking fees might increase congestion; the attractiveness of AVs might lead to adverse changes in modal split; acceptance of longer driving distances (due to increased comfort and use of travel time for working) might further increase road traffic and promote urban sprawl. It is therefore essential for cities to integrate the full spectrum of related policy interventions into their considerations to prepare for the era of CATS – right from the start. Some positive impacts might be reinforced and accelerated by the appropriate policies, other desired impacts might occur only if a specific combination of policy interventions is applied – with the appropriate timing – and finally, some unwanted negative impacts might be mitigated by corresponding interventions. These causal relationships, however, are not always as simple and intuitive as it might appear at first sight. A lot of interdependencies – as in every complex system extending over different domains – makes it a necessity to apply a formal approach and consider a set of different methodologies that can support cities in their strategic decisions.

Defining a desirable vision in a quantitative way is the essential starting point for the backcasting process. From that vision the idea is to work backwards, via influencing factors (that are impacting the goals and indicators of the vision), to policy interventions which address these factors and thereby contribute towards the vision. Generating this series of logical links is a central part of the process, as it highlights feasible paths of interventions, steering into the desired direction. The steps in this process are explained in more detail and exemplified for the City of Vienna in the following article by the Austrian Institute of Technology.

3rd European Conference on Connected and Automated Driving – EUCAD 2021

EUCAD 2021 will be a high-level and evidence-based conference where policy challenges meet innovative solutions to deliver on societal benefits. The event is the only conference in Europe that brings together political leaders from the European Commission and Member States with high-level representatives of industry, knowledge institutes and road authorities to exchange knowledge and experience on the most recent technological developments and policies in the area of cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM).

The conference, taking place on 20-22 April 2021, consists of a series of plenary sessions complemented by several thematic breakout discussions as well as a virtual exhibition available throughout the event. The first two days of the programme are primarily policy-oriented while the third day is fully dedicated to break-out sessions discussing specific R&I challenges. All break-out sessions feature interactive panel discussions on specific R&I questions, combined with active audience participation. The virtual exhibition features R&I projects active in the field of automated mobility, including their presentation, documentation and contact information. The exhibition could also feature virtual demonstrations by some large-scale pilot projects.

Programma & registration
The programme for the conference is now published. Registration (free of charge) shall open shortly!

Can the impacts of connected and automated vehicles be predicted?

A huge research effort is going on in order to develop connected and automated vehicles. Small-scale trials of automated vehicles in real traffic are already taking place. Can the societal impacts of a transition to fully connected and automated vehicles be predicted?

The answers to the question is that many of these impacts depend on the policies implemented to regulate the introduction of connected and automated vehicles. This applies particularly to two of the impacts that are difficult to predict: whether vehicle automation will be associated with a transition to electric vehicles, and whether it will be associated with a transition to shared mobility.
It is more likely that automated cars will be electric than that they will have combustion engines. However, to make a transition to electric cars more likely and speed it up, policies favouring electric cars may be necessary. Norwegian experience shows that a transition to electric cars can be stimulated by public policy.

Studies (e.g. Clayton et al. 2020) consistently show that individual use of automated cars is preferred to shared use. If the introduction of connected and automated cars is left to the market, it is likely that individual car ownership will continue at current rates. In that case, traffic is likely to increase, as the generalised cost of travel will be lower in automated cars than in manual cars, chiefly because the value of travel time savings is likely to become lower. Travel time is less burdensome and less wasted if it can be used to work or relax. An increase in traffic will reduce the benefits of connected and automated cars in terms of less congestion, fewer accidents and less emissions.

If this prediction is accepted, policies aimed at maximising the societal benefits of connected and automated cars may, perhaps paradoxically, need to counteract some of the private benefits of these cars. Experience shows that whenever transport becomes cheaper and more convenient, the demand for it increases. In economic terms, the societal benefit of an increase in travel demand is the increase in consumer surplus associated with it. However, as noted, an increase in travel demand increases the external impacts of travel in terms of congestion, accidents and pollution. Estimates of impacts made in LEVITATE suggest that even if there is an increase in traffic volume, there will still be a net gain in travel time, a reduction of accidents and a reduction of pollution. While the reductions are smaller than they would have been without increased traffic volume, they are not eliminated. Thus, all potential impacts remain favourable. In view of this, it is unlikely that policy makers will introduce controversial and often unpopular measures like road pricing or parking restrictions to curb the growth of traffic.

It is concluded that, at the current state of knowledge, it is predicted that connected and automated vehicles will lead to increased travel demand, but nevertheless reduce travel time, make travel time less wasteful, reduce accidents and reduce pollution, including global warming.

Read the whole paper, written by Rune Elvik »