On 9th and 10th May 2019, the Hellenic Institute of Transport hosted the Kick-Off meeting of Drive2theFuture Horizon 2020 project. Drive2theFuture, Coordinated by HIT/CERTH, aims to prepare future users of connected, cooperative and automated transport modes, and to increase acceptance of automation, taking into account the needs and wants of all categories of users (“drivers”, travelers, operators) and related stakeholders.
Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris, Director of HIT/CERTH, acting as Technical and Innovation Manager in Drive2theFuture, has presented the project overview, and the necessity of establishing excellent cooperation between the Drive2theFuture consortium members, in order to achieve optimum results, aiming at excellence. In his presentation, he mentioned the importance of creating a balanced interaction between automation and human factors, through simulating, optimizing and regulating transport automation applications for all modes, while considering the needs and preferences of affected users and stakeholders. Dr. Bekiaris has also emphasized the outstanding experience of HIT/CERTH in coordinating European Projects, as well as the valuable input it brings to Transport Research realization at National and European level.
Ms. Evangelia Gaitanidou, Head of the Road Safety and Security Laboratory of HIT/CERTH, acting as Project Coordinator in Drive2theFuture, has presented the project management activities, explaining the structure and roles of the different project actors and bodies, while describing the procedures and tools to be used for the smooth and efficient implementation of the project. She underlined the high expertise of the Consortium members and the importance of timely planning of the project activities and active involvement of all partners, as key ingredients for the project success.
Dedicated presentations per WP followed, providing an outline of the envisaged activities and the plans for their implementation. All representatives of the partner institutions had an active involvement, discussing their roles in achieving the project goals and sharing their excitement about the cooperation.
Drive2theFuture project tackles an important aspect of fitting the ongoing evolvement of autonomous vehicles in the life of all types of users, by increasing understanding and acceptance of connectivity and automation, also facilitated by harmonized policy making and incentives adoption, thus fostering a sustainable market introduction.
The project is elaborated by 31 partner institutions from 13 countries throughout Europe, has a duration of 3 years (May 2019 – April 2022) and is funded under the Horizon 2020 Workprogramme of the European Commission.