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TOPIC : Driver behaviour and acceptance of connected, cooperative and automated transport

Topic identifier: MG-3-3-2018
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
31 October 2017
2nd stage Deadline:
31 January 2018 17:00:00
19 September 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Today's vehicles - in all modes of transport - are becoming increasingly connected and cooperative, as well as automated. This raises a number of issues about the role of the "driver" (or operator, rider, pilot, captain) in such vehicles (cars, trucks, powered-two-wheelers, trains, ships, planes, etc.). In particular, human-machine interaction is becoming increasingly complex in an environment with higher levels of both qualitative and quantitative information, automated data exchange (into and out of the vehicle) and increasing levels of automation (systems, operations, etc.).

However, developments in recent years have primarily focused on "hard" technological advances and the maturity of technology-driven transport/mobility concepts, outpacing and insufficiently addressing the "soft" human component in this evolution. Therefore the challenge relates to a number of inter-related themes, ranging from public acceptance of connectivity and automation (e.g. data privacy, role of the human), to the development of user-friendly and appropriate Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI), "driver"/vehicle interaction and ethical decision making, to "driver" training and certification for new technologies/levels of automation.

A clear challenge for the roll-out of connectivity and automation in transport remains the lack of a detailed, evidence-based assessment of real "driver" behaviour in connected and highly automated or autonomous vehicles (and possible mitigation solutions), accounting also for gender, age and ability, with and without the assistance of cross-modal Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS), under various use cases (incl. technical failure) and in a range of operating environments (e.g. urban, rural, etc).


In order to meet this challenge, proposals should address at least 5 of the following aspects:

  • Assess public acceptance across Europe for higher levels of connectivity and automation, relating to a number of public concerns, including data privacy, safety and security, consequences of the availability of 24/7 mobility, vehicle control, liability, ethics, new features such as driver alerts (various types of alarm), as well as the proliferation of new technology and related behaviours, particularly in view of different types of users ("drivers" / passengers, etc) – all elements enabling sensible use of connectivity and automation.
  • Public acceptance of different user groups, including current non-drivers (i.e. the elderly, people with disabilities, children, etc.), which in higher levels of automation could travel alone in an automated vehicle.
  • Perform simulations, correlate and analyse driver behaviour/reaction under different scenarios/use cases, including driver distraction/assistance, driver-vehicle interaction technology failures and/or conditions instigating accidents (either by the vehicle itself or by other/external factors), as well as in different operating environments (e.g. urban, rural, multimodal hub) with other users, utilising big data analytics, assessing impacts of traffic flows, schedule reliability and congestions and also developing appropriate mitigation solutions to enhance "driver" behaviour under such scenarios (including using visual and acoustic information).
  • Demonstrate the relevance, differentiation and the required evolution/adaptation of "driver" behaviour in connected and automated vehicles for passenger and/or freight transport (considering in particular the value of life vs. the value of cargo and also time and comfort).
  • Estimate the effects of "driver"-vehicle interaction on transport safety and whether these would be marginal compared to full automation (with no "driver" interaction), hence implying a need to accelerate efforts towards fully connected automation. The necessary timing and issues on the transition from conventional to automated vehicles should be examined (e.g. interaction between "drivers" of conventional and automated vehicles).
  • Analyse the levels of Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI) across different types of vehicles, as well as the margins for further optimisation in order to enable information generation and dynamic processing in multiple real-time or changing conditions.
  • Assess and elaborate common issues, approaches and lessons learned across all transport modes (e.g. HMI, "driver" behaviour, ethical decision making, etc.).
  • Address explicitly the ethical and legal issues associated with "driver" and/or vehicle decision making processes under different circumstances, as well as explore solutions to overcome the ethical and legal challenges relating to connectivity and automation.
  • Investigate new "driver" training needs and certification requirements for new technologies/levels of automation, including effects on employment and skills.
  • Assess the regulatory state of art, with particular reference to any regulatory gap hindering the adoption of automated vehicles (cars, trains, ships, planes).
  • Assess attitudes towards shared modes of transport and the inclusion of connected, cooperative and automated vehicles as part of fleets.

Research should be validated in a selected number of use cases through testing/trials/demonstrations, involving service providers and end users.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 3 to 4 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Actions are expected to:

  • Support the integration of higher levels of connectivity and automation in transport;
  • Contribute to improved levels of safety and security in all modes of transport, in line with the Transport White Paper 2011 (e.g. Vision Zero);
  • Contribute to the possible reduction of cost for industry and public authorities through an improved understanding of requirements and needs of different types of "drivers"/users in the context of connectivity and automation in all modes of transport;
  • Contribute to a better user acceptance of innovative, cooperative, connected and highly automated transport systems;
  • Enhance driver awareness and behaviour in a range of complex / urban operating environments.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

Open Innovation
Socio-economic science and humanities

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme. 


Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.  
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:    

Information on the outcome of evaluation (two-stage call):
For stage 1: maximum 3 months from the deadline for submission.
For stage 2: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.


5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement


6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20       
11. Smart, green and integrated transport WP 2018-20      
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


Additional documents

  • Flash Call Info_Stage 1 2018 en
  • Generalised feedback_Stage 1 2018 en
  • Flash Call Info_Stage 2 2018 en

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