Every opinion counts – The Austrian approach to automated mobility

Automated mobility is a complex topic and it is not only about technology and legal frameworks. It is about trust, trust to surrender control. “The vital trust in new solutions can only be created through a common understanding and open discussions,” explains Martin Russ, Managing Director at AustriaTech. “We need to put the people at the center of the discussion. The citizens’ debate is a great opportunity for Austrian cities, not only to find out the expectations and fears of our citizens, but also to know where we stand in international comparison.”

Five Austrian cities are part of the global citizens’ debate

With Vienna, Graz, Klagenfurt, Linz and Salzburg, five Austrian cities have signed up for the discussion on April 6, 2019, and will each host a debate of 100 people. “We don’t consider a basic survey to be that effective; through dialogue between participants and input throughout the event, people can reflect together and negotiate different points of view,” points out Thomas Madreiter, Planning Director of the City of Vienna. All of the cities and regions involved have already experimented with automated driving or have several tests running, so not only can participants discuss automated mobility, they are also able to try it out already.

Given the complexity of automated driving, Austria introduced a stakeholder process back in 2015, involving more than 140 Austrian stakeholders from politics, research and industry. The aim was to enable the transformative topic of automated mobility to evolve in a timely manner and to discuss a common understanding, the necessary frameworks and joint measures. In the past three years, numerous framework conditions – such as the possibilities for testing – have since been adapted by politicians and other supportive measures set. AustriaTech is the nominated contact point for automated mobility and it examines and supports tests of automated vehicles. Furthermore, our aim is to support the exchange of knowledge and information in the best possible way and to provide feedback within the scope of impact assessment. An important focus of the Austrian strategy for dealing with automated mobility involves learning from tests and pilots within the frame of defined use cases, and developing new mobility forms.

This public debate is the next step in making automated mobility part of our lives. “We are looking forward to exciting and fruitful discussions and are thankful that our citizens will share their thoughts with us to help us develop the mobility of the future together,” says Russ.

More information about the Citizens Debate on Automated Mobility in Austria: https://www.austriatech.at/Citizensdebate

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