M:bility California is a two-day conference designed to help stakeholders understand the future of mobility. “The event is relatively small, but with a very high-level audience including representatives of major OEMs and other innovative companies,” says Joost Ortjens, Head of International Business Development – Automotive at Luxinnovation.

Real-life testing for self-driving vehicles

According to the event organisers, the global automotive industry is currently undergoing a period of change that is unprecedented since the invention of the automobile. The conference will start by exploring how four technology-driven trends – connected, autonomous, shared and electric mobility – will impact the automotive sector.

The development of smart mobility is a priority in Luxembourg, and one of the country’s flagship projects is the cross-border digital testbed for automated and connected driving set up jointly with Germany and France. “Due to legislative hurdles in Europe, most of the development work with self-driving vehicles is done at closed R&D facilities,” Mr Ortjens points out. “The cross-border testbed offers a unique opportunity to conduct tests on public motorways and roads that cover three different countries over a distance of some 215 km.”

5G connectivity

One of the first projects using the testbed is Horizon 2020-funded 5G-CroCo, which includes partners such as Volkswagen, Volvo, PSA, Renault, Ericsson and Nokia. POST Luxembourg, Deutche Telecom and Orange are equipping the testbed with 5G technology in order to provide excellent connectivity for automated vehicles.

Luxembourg is an attractive location for innovative mobility companies targeting the European market.

Jean Schiltz, Deputy Director Smart Mobility at the Ministry of the Economy, will participate in the panel “Is 5G connectivity the link to a self-driving future?” to share Luxembourg’s progress in this field.

“Luxembourg is an attractive location for innovative mobility companies targeting the European market,” says Mr Ortjens, and mentions as an example Silicon Valley-based Civil Maps that has recently decided to set up its European headquarters in Luxembourg in order to address the European market for self-driving cars. “We will be in San José to exchange with participants on how Luxembourg can support them if they are looking for a foothold in Europe.”

Picture: mplstodd from Columbus, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]