Driving innovation

The European automobile industry’s investment in innovation keeps it ahead of global competition. It is committed to maintaining its leadership in sustainable low carbon propulsion, integrated vehicle safety and vehicle connectivity. It is also committed to ensuring affordability for consumers and transport operators, and the competitiveness of manufacturing.


Bearing in mind that innovation is market-driven, the industry needs the flexibility to drive innovation, with policy and regulations that encourage rather than restrict it. A more substantial share of the available EU funding in Horizon 2020 is necessary to support collaborative future-oriented automotive R&D and innovation.


  • Provide EU funding for collaborative research in order to leverage the industry’s investment, create synergies through partnerships and secure Europe’s technological lead.
  • Support dedicated automotive initiatives and research that further advances vehicle connectivity, environmental performance and safety.
  • Ensure technology-neutrality in regulations related to new systems and alternative powertrains.
  • Exchange best practices on improving the market uptake of alternative fuel technologies  between the European Commission, member states and other stakeholders.
  • Enable investments in the infrastructure needed to expand the potential of intelligent transport systems (ITS) and connected vehicles across Europe.
  • Create closer ties and promote active collaboration between society, scientific institutions and regional investment bodies.


  • Focus the available budget in Horizon 2020 on key automotive research priorities (2016 revision clause), including the European Green Vehicles Initiative and programmes on ‘Road Transport’, ‘ICT for Smart Mobility’, ‘Factories of the Future’ and ‘Logistics’.
  • Reduce the total time-to-grant in calls for research projects in Horizon 2020. Fast, single-stage procedures should be applied to accelerate the start of projects and speed up Europe’s innovation potential.
  • Simplify procedures for eco-innovations to encourage the development and sale of more environmentally-friendly vehicles.
  • Encourage public private partnerships to enable investments in infrastructure.
  • Overcome the fragmentation of framework conditions, national funding and regulation by enhancing pan-European harmonisation.
Content type News article
Vehicle types All vehicles
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