On the 7th February 2019 took place the seminar ‘’Mobility as a service and autonomous vehicles-trends and developments in the EU’’ organized by the Tallinn University of Technology, Estonian Research Council and the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU in collaboration with Helsinki City. EfVET attended as is an associate partner at the Automotive Sector Skills Alliance project DRIVES, which aims to develop human capital solutions for all levels of the automotive value chain

The discussion was opened by Clyde Kull (Estonian Ambassador to the EU) and Maive Rute (Deputy Director-General, Joint Research Centre). Subsequently, Jaak Aaviksoo (TalTech Rector) took the floor and outlined the importance of cooperation with industry partners and building relations based on connections and trust. TalTech is an Estonian university of engineering and IT education and research whose mission is to promote science, technology and innovation. Its students developed in just one year the Iseauto: an autonomous vehicle able to operate in winter conditions. Trust, networking and creativity (meaning the involvement of a variety of people) have been key factors in the process.

Henrik Hololei (Director-General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission) stressed that we need to embrace innovation in order to reach a smart model of mobility. Automation can help us achieve safer roads. The future of mobility requests a comprehensive approach. Jaana Kokkonen (Forum Virium Helsinki) introduced some key findings and challenges in creating smart and sustainable mobility systems in the Helsinki region. Estonia and Finland represent a great example of collaboration in the tech sector, leading to an innovative win-win situation.

Adrian Nicholas Venables (Senior researcher in TalTech School of IT) gave a cybersecurity perspective, highlighting the possible threats connected to autonomous driving and how to avoid them. 

Finally, Raivo Sell and Ralf-Martin Soe (Taltech) presented in detail the Iseauto and Smart City project claiming that the broader goal is to reach a smart city along with a self-driving vehicle and a smart infrastructure. Self-driving cars in combination with on-demand services can definitely be the future of mobility tomorrow. We also had the chance to introduce the project DRIVES to the stakeholders who attended the event.

Reported by Anca Crețu