Commissioner Oettinger underlines importance of automotive research for future of mobility at ERTRAC-EUCAR Innovation Demonstration Day



On Tuesday 14 June 2016, more than 30 high-level guests from the European Commission and European Parliament, as well as representatives of EU member states, witnessed the results of advanced automotive research and could experience the latest innovative technologies at the Innovation Demonstration Day. This event, dedicated to research and innovation in the automotive industry, was jointly organised by the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) and the European Council for Automotive Research and Development (EUCAR).

More than 16 vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and research providers came together at the Toyota facilities and test track outside Brussels for dynamic demonstrations, test drives and an exhibition of European collaborative projects. During these demonstrations some of the latest automotive technologies were showcased, such as automated driving and safety applications (eg Automated Emergency Braking, Pilot Assist Systems and automated parking) as well as a new generation of efficient powertrains (including highly-advanced internal combustion engines, hybrid architectures, battery electric vehicles and fuel-cell electric vehicles). Innovations for commercial vehicles presented at the event include truck platooning and solutions for integrated transport logistics.

Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, emphasised the importance of an innovative and competitive European automotive industry. The Commissioner underlined that especially innovation in the field of connected and automated driving is key to the future of mobility. Oettinger added that the full societal benefits of automation, such as improved safety and transport efficiency, can only be achieved through a coordinated deployment of connected and automated vehicles across Europe.

Stephan Neugebauer, Chairman of ERTRAC and Director Global Research Cooperation of BMW, highlighted that there is a strong need for different industries and stakeholders to work together in order to bring the latest innovations into the market. For example, public-private partnerships should deploy the necessary infrastructure for charging electric vehicles. And to enable a next generation of automated driving functions, cooperation between the automotive and telecommunications sectors is vital, according to Neugebauer.

Loek van Seeters, Chairman of EUCAR and Assistant Chief Engineer of DAF Trucks, emphasised the importance of collaborative European research for the competitiveness of the European automotive industry. The automotive industry is Europe’s biggest private investor in R&I; spending more than €44 billion on innovation each year and providing 12 million direct and indirect jobs to Europeans. In order to further stimulate automotive innovation and drive market success at global scale, Europe needs to develop standards that support innovation and avoid fragmentation. Moreover, it is crucial that the EU continues to fund research projects, pilots, large-scale demonstrations and tests, the EUCAR Chairman explained.


EUCAR is the European Council for Automotive R&D of the major European passenger car and commercial vehicle manufacturers. EUCAR facilitates and coordinates pre-competitive research and innovation projects and its members participate in a wide range of collaborative European R&D programmes. The European automobile manufacturers are the largest private investors in R&D in Europe with over €44 billion investment per annum.

EUCAR members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Ford of Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, Opel Group, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group.

EUCAR is closely connected to ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.


Contact EUCAR at +32 2 7387353 or [email protected]