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News Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment

BasqueCCAM is born, the Basque Centre for Connected and Autonomous Mobility

2023 September 20

Words from the advisor Arantxa Tapia:

The successful and competitive automotive sector in Europe is undergoing a profound transformation and must approach its future from a totally different position than today's.

To do this, we should start from an industrial ecosystem focused on the user/customer, looking for our own model that responds to people's mobility needs, taking into account the forces of technological innovation, talent and cooperation capacity and enhancing the role/place of the regions.

Aware of the economic importance of the automotive industry in Europe and the Basque Country, of the central role of the regions, the technological added value and the capacity for public and private cooperation, the Basque Country can propose a differentiated action, and Basque CCAM marks precisely that differentiation.

We must focus on our capacity for innovation and quality job creation, in a situation in which we are facing global disruptive trends, with new actions, a new way of thinking that allows us to take advantage of the moment to improve more traditional and well-known methods.

New opportunities are opening up with four axes of action, that is autonomous driving; connectivity; electrification and shared mobility. These are four technological areas that feed and reinforce each other, and can make the automotive industry truly disruptive by transforming it significantly.

But, in addition to addressing those axes of action, the industry needs to intelligently manage the transition that will occur in the type of employment, in which skills related to software and electronic engineering will stand out.

This means that the European automotive industry moves from a position of selling vehicles to being a mobility industry, capable of offering mobility solutions of various types, for people and goods.

The European mobility model for 2050 is based on objectives related to people, the planet and economic benefit (people, planet, profit).

Mobility solutions adapted to different types of needs must be offered, they will be eco-friendly and will generate wealth and quality employment for people working in this attractive future sector.

To do this, we require:

  1. Leadership in sustainable mobility, seeking real reductions in CO2 emissions
  1. Leadership in the EU to develop an economic value generation model. Developing locally optimised and adapted solutions, and then scaling them up to a global level. And this model is possible because Europe is diverse in terms of people, economy and technology, it has many hidden champions, and mobility realities.

Basque CCAM is a commitment to the future with an exciting path

The 2050 perspective should include, among other things, projects of vocation and global projection and actions in the four areas that develop technologies, a strategy based on the international positioning of the Basque Country for its capabilities in the field of integral mobility.

- Sustainable mobility, taking into account the entire value chains. Electric, hybrid, LNG, hydrogen vehicles etc.

- Innovation of business models that in turn favour consumer mobility. Pay for use, carpooling etc.

- Innovation, incorporating new technologies and leading the development of future solutions. Connected vehicle, autonomous driving, truck platooning etc.

- Solutions adapted to each individual reality, developing different solutions and ecosystems. Last-mile distribution, multi-modal systems, private autonomy.

To develop initiatives that collaborate to achieve the vision presented, these can be clustered or grouped into the following axes:

  1. Mobility Valley

If we consider the Basque Country overall as a global centre for the application of innovations in mobility, we should take into account the contribution of all the agents involved, universities and VET centres, technology centres, manufacturing and advanced services industries.

All this can mean a transformation of the Basque and European automotive sector towards a mobility industry model, in which a multitude of advanced services are included. It is going to be a very demanding but at the same time exciting challenge, which we need to address from a leadership position.

  1. Decarbonisation of transport

This global challenge must be approached from a reality that clearly and unequivocally defines a transition that combines the achievement of decarbonisation objectives while ensuring industrial development, employment and economic development in Europe.

We have first-rate initiatives such as Mubil in Gipuzkoa; the Automotive Intelligence Centre in Bizkaia and Basquevolt in Araba.

For this, it would be advisable to work together with the energy sector to help gain synergies.

  1. New partnerships and collaborations

Collaborations between industry belonging to the same value chain has been a common practice in the Basque Country, with the Cluster acting as a unifying element and a driver of new proposals. But now we need a more sophisticated collaboration model, introducing into the usual equation of the hardest industry, other software elements such as data, cybersecurity, connectivity, which provide value in themselves, but which will allow us to face a leap towards that new model, more disruptive and at the same time, full of uncertainties.

  1. Regulation for future mobility

Regulation and standardisation to ensure that the innovation developed is implemented in a simple, efficient and safe manner throughout Europe must be led by the EU itself, and in no case without the participation of companies from those most innovative regions of the EU. 

Technologies tend to go faster than regulations, and also in this case, we will have to be attentive and prepared.

  1. Input from cities

Based on the fact that the automotive industry is transforming towards mobility solutions focused on the needs of users and that business success will reside in the ability to understand and respond to those needs, cities will become especially relevant as a testing facility, given their ability to offer multi-modal and integrated solutions.

But we cannot forget that in the Basque Country we have large geographical areas that are rural, which demand services and solutions with quality equal to those of the cities, but that must be offered in a different way and adapted to each person or area.

There will be no standard solutions exportable to each and every one of these places, but there will be types of services that can be replicated for similar conditions.

The creation of Basque CCAM arises in this broad, complex and fascinating context.

The collaboration and involvement of companies and technology centres has been necessary and will continue to be essential.

Also that of institutions. Hence the collaboration of the three provincial councils and the Basque Government.

Congratulations to the promoting team and thank you for taking this step that will allow us to define and execute projects that put us at the forefront of mobility.

Zorionak eta eskerrik asko! [Congratulations and thank you!]

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Politicians attending the event
(XII term 2020 - 2024)