EUCAR: EU Research Commissioner visits European automotive manufacturers to see research in action

Lommel (Belgium), 18/07/2011– European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn made a field trip today to EUCAR, the European Council for Automotive R&D, for a demonstration of advanced vehicle technology. Automotive manufacturers showed first-hand how technologies supported by EU research funding are being developed, creating the innovations for future market launch.

Nine vehicles demonstrating advanced technology were available for display and driving at Ford’s Lommel Proving Grounds for a visit of the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. These vehicles were provided by European automotive manufacturers, members of the European Council for Automotive R&D (EUCAR). Senior automotive research executives representing EUCAR’s Council were present to explain the technologies and discuss plans for future EU research.

After a briefing on the automotive development cycle, the Commissioner was given a drive around the test track and shown a dynamic safety test, demonstrating the extensive and rigorous testing which new vehicles have to undergo. She was then given the opportunity to ride in and drive advanced technology development vehicles, which derive from investigations conducted in the manufacturers own research as well as in projects funded by the EU. The vehicles included cars with advanced powertrains and alternative fuels, as well as passenger vehicles and a heavy truck demonstrating intelligent transport systems.

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn commented “It is important to see first hand how results derived from EU projects are implemented in further development programmes, creating innovations brought to the market,” and continued, “these technologies demonstrate the societal gains in environment, safety and competitiveness that research should be aiming for.”

Prof. Dr. Pim van der Jagt, Chairman of EUCAR and Managing Director of Research at Ford of Europe also commented, “The technologies shown here today are proof of the substantial resources invested by automotive manufacturers in R&D. EU R&D projects make an important contribution, leveraging collaboration across many companies and European countries and producing valuable results for wider implementation.” EU projects involving EUCAR members demonstrated at the visit were HySYS and H2MovesScandinavia (fuel cell and electric-hybrid components and vehicles), Green eMotion (electric vehicle demonstration), euroF.O.T., HAVEit and INTERSAFE-2 (cooperative systems and intelligent transport systems).

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About EUCAR EUCAR is the European Council for Automotive R&D from the major European passenger car and commercial vehicle manufacturers. EUCAR facilitates and coordinates pre-competitive research and development 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 €26 billion investment per annum, or about 5% of turnover. EUCAR members are BMW, DAF, Daimler, Fiat, Ford Europe, GM/Opel, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault, Scania, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Car and Volvo Group. EUCAR is closely connected to ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. EUCAR Contact: +32 2 738 73 52 ; www.eucar.be; eucar@eucar.be

Technology demonstrations Technology demonstrations on the test tracks included electric, hybrid electric, hydrogen fuel cell, active safety and V2X communication vehicles. The following list gives an overview of the exhibits in alphabetical order with reference to associated publicly funded research and demonstration projects.

  • BMW Mini E (Battery electric vehicle) EU Project: Green eMotion
  • DAF Truck (Intervehicle communication, V2V) Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge
  • Ford Focus (Active city stop, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition) EU Project: euroF.O.T, interactIVe
  • Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell (Fuel cell electric vehicle) EU Projects: HySYS, H2MovesScandinavia
  • Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell (Battery electric vehicle) EU Projects: HySYS, H2MovesScandinavia
  • Land Rover Range_e (Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle)
  • Renault Fluence ZE (Battery electric vehicle) EU Project: Green eMotion
  • Volkswagen Passat CC (V2X communication) EU Project: INTERSAFE-2
  • Volvo AB Video, Poster (Automated Queue Assistance Truck, Active Green Driving Bus demonstration) EU Project: HAVEit
  • Volvo Cars C30 (Battery electric vehicle) Flanders’ Drive CED (Continuous Electric Drive)

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