Go to news

Road transport funding

Opportunities for connected and automated vehicle and road safety projects

european funding for connected vehicle

The European Commission has the goal of deploying automated mobility at a large scale by 2030 , and reducing the fatal road accidents to half of those in 2019. To do so, under the Horizon Europe framework, inside Cluster 5 – Climate, Energy and Mobility, Brussels considers Destination 6 – Safe, Resilient Transport and Smart Mobility services for passengers and goods, as one of the main keys.

Following the success of the 2023 Horizon Europe – Destination 6 calls, with 70 proposals submitted and 11 funded for connected and automated vehicle, and road safety projects, the European Commission did not lift the foot off the pedal in 2024, as a total of 66.5 million euros will be allocated towards crossing the digital frontier in the mobility sector, targeting to achieve a safer and more efficient transport system for passengers and goods.

“If you need help in your proposal preparation phase, it is key to find a partner that not only understands the project idea, but also knows how to fit it under the scope of the topic to ensure maximum eligibility and success probability”, says Gorka Arzallus, Consultant and transport and hydrogen expert of Zabala Innovation. “Our consultancy can fit the role of this trusted partner, providing experts in the field and in the European funding landscape”, he adds.

Do you have an innovative project in this field? We can help you!

Connected, Cooperative and Autonomous Mobility (CCAM)

The Connected, Collaborative, and Autonomous Mobility Partnership (CCAM), orchestrated by the EC alongside private and public stakeholders in the mobility sector, is an essential collaboration and implementation mechanism co-programmed within the Horizon Europe Framework. Its primary objective is to foster a more user-centric and inclusive mobility system, while simultaneously mitigating accident risks, environmental footprints, and traffic congestion. Moreover, it seeks to enhance comprehension and endorsement of CCAM technologies among the European Union’s populace and institutions.

The CCAM Partnership launched the latest version of their 2021-2027 Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) earlier this year, highlighting Europe’s key priorities and objectives towards a safe and sustainable road transport through automation. Four main Specific Objectives are listed in the SRIA:

  • SO1: Validated safety and security, improved robustness and resilience of CCAM technologies and systems.
  • SO2: Secure and trustworthy interaction between road users, CCAM and conventional vehicles, infrastructure and services to achieve safer and more efficient transport flows (people and goods) and better use of infrastructure capacity.
  • SO3: High public acceptance and adoption of CCAM solutions by 2030 with a clear understanding of its benefits and limits as well as rebound effects.
  • SO4: Better coordination of public and private R&l actions, large-scale testing and implementation plans in Europe.

To achieve these objectives, the Partnership launches annual funding topics in the CCAM sector, under the Horizon Europe framework, Cluster 5, Destination 6. Five topics are published for the 2024 call, with 5th September 2024 as deadline, and with a total budget of 52.5 million euros.


HORIZON-CL5-2024-D6-01-01: Centralised, reliable, cyber-secure & upgradable in-vehicle electronic control architectures for CCAM connected to the cloud-edge continuum has the goal of fostering a complete re-design of the in-vehicle electronic systems (TRL 5), including advances at hardware, software levels and data, both in-vehicle and connected to the cloud-edge continuum. The new design should address latency, bandwidth and cybersecurity issues, as well as showing advances in upgradeability, modularity and general efficiency.

HORIZON-CL5-2024-D6-01-02: Scenario-based safety assurance of CCAM and related HMI in a dynamically evolving transport system, on the other hand, focuses on extending safety validation and certification procedures for the deployment of CCAM systems, with high consideration of advanced human-machine interaction and continuous monitoring. Considering the wide range of scenarios to be tested, the projects are expected to perform a significant part of the assessment in virtual environments (TRL 5).

HORIZON-CL5-2024-D6-01-03: Orchestration of heterogeneous actors in mixed traffic within the CCAM ecosystem aims to enhance the coordination of diverse actors within mixed traffic by leveraging, connecting, and integrating connectivity for smart routing and interactive traffic management, solutions for seamless application of CCAM technologies in mixed-traffic scenarios, and new governance and operational models. Projects that apply to this call will have to demonstrate their solutions in a wide variety of traffic scenarios (TRL 6-7).

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will also have an important role in this call, in particular within  HORIZON-CL5-2024-D6-01-04: AI for advanced and collective perception and decision making for CCAM applications, focused on supporting research on the application of AI for CCAM technologies, with particular focus on improving decision making based on enhanced collective awareness. The projects will build up on previous calls, such as CL5-2022-D6-01-03 and CL5-2022-D6-01-05, and reach a final TRL of 5.

Finally, HORIZON-CL5-2024-D6-01-05: Robust knowledge and know-how transfer for key-deployment pathways and implementation of the EU-CEM is Coordination and Support Action (CSA) aims to expand on the current existing Knowledge Base on CCAM, further adapting it to all stakeholders and their needs.

Road safety, a priority for the European Commission

Across the EU, road fatalities decreased by 1% in 2023 compared to the previous year, showing a worrying stalling in the expected yearly reduction. Considering the European Commission and the UN had the goal of halving the fatal accidents across Europe by 2030, and reducing them to zero by 2050, this stagnation needs to be addressed.

To achieve this goal, two topics related to road safety have been published in CL5-D6, with 5th September 2024 as deadline. The total accumulated contribution for these two topics by the European Commission is 14 million euros.


Practical advice for applicants

“One of the key aspects to consider before applying for any of these funding opportunities is having a clear understanding of the technical readiness of the project”, underlines Arzallus. “One of the most common shortcomings is misunderstanding or misrepresenting the TRL of the project or part of it. Applicants should make sure that the technologies developed should be disruptive enough in RIAs, while demonstration in relevant environments becomes key in IAs. This is particularly important to understand in a fairly new sector like CCAM”, he continues.

Moreover, similar to the 2023 topics, “Social Sciences and Humanities should be a critical part of the implementation of any project. Social acceptance of new and emerging CCAM technologies and re- and up-skilling of the workforce increase their importance in the 2024 call”, Arzallus warns.

He stresses also that that the project must address all the expected outcomes and impacts of the topic, and all the actions must align adequately with the topic scope. “To do so, the project should have balanced and heterogeneous consortium, with a good combination of research and academia, industrial actors, local authorities/road managers, and any other partner to cover more transversal activities, such as Social Sciences and Humanities, Dissemination and Communication, and Project Management”, Arzallus said.