The evaluations of the proposals for the first calls of the new Horizon Europe Framework Programme for the seven-year period 2021-2027 have just been published and the first positive results for the Emilia-Romagna regionRomagnolo, confirming the tradition that for years has distinguished the research and industry of the Region. In this regard, among the projects that will be funded by the European Commission, under the first call of Cluster 5 of Horizon Europe (Cluster titled “Climate, Energy and Mobility)The SINFONICA project is coordinated by the Inter-University Consortium for Optimization and Operations Research (ICOOR – Interuniversity Consortium for Optimization and Operations Research) and includes among its partners the Reggio Emilia-based company RE:Lab, already an accredited laboratory in the High Technology Network of Emilia Romagna. The partnership counts a total of 12partners from 7 European countries (including the UK) and can count on the prestigious participation of ERTICO – ITS Europe: a public-private organization representing more than 120 leading actors in the field of transport and mobility (including, in fact, also ICOOR and RE:Lab).

The SINFONICA project is closely linked to the field of mobility and, in particular, to the theme of Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM), a category that includes all aspects of frontier research and development related to the mobility of the future: connected, shared and autonomous. As you know, recent years have already shown that the transport sector (and in particular road transport) is undergoing profound upheavals and the research promises to achieve objectives that, in the recent past, were unthinkable (drastic reduction in emissions, optimization of traffic flows, reduction of the percentage of road deaths, etc.). However, to achieve these goals, it is necessary that the innovative solutions of this new paradigm of mobility be as inclusive, resilient, sustainable, accessible and reliable as possible. For this reason, the SINFONICA project aims to develop and develop new strategies and functional and efficient tools to enable the actors involved in this “revolution” (manufacturing companies, public administrations, service providers, trade associations, etc.) to collect and fully understand the needs, expectations, concerns and ambitions related to autonomous, connected and shared mobility.

The innovative approach of the project will allow to develop innovative research methodologies thanks to the involvement of a wide audience of road users, with a particular focus on “vulnerable” users: people with disabilities, children, the elderly, but also living in peripheral and rural areas, the unemployed and people in the lowest income brackets. Fundamental, from this point of view, will be the contribution, in the project activities, of subjects from a multitude of heterogeneous territorial realities: this will be possible thanks to the varied origin of the partners of the consortium, which will oversee the different project phases in their respective countries. Another distinctive feature of the project will be the multidisciplinary composition of the partnership, which includes not only actors from the automotive world but also experts in the humanities and social sciences.

This will ensure that the approach adopted during the development phases always meets the criteria of social inclusion and innovation, characteristics that distinguish the SINFONICA project and that allowed the consortium to obtain funding from the European Union. In addition to research methodologies, as mentioned, the project also includes the implementation of a concrete tool to support the development and dissemination of innovative CCAM solutions. It will be created a system of information collection obtained during the project activities (the c.d. Knowledge Map explorer system), equipped with a web interface and freely accessible and searchable, which will have the purpose of providing data, “targeted” recommendations, guidelines and suggestions based on the profile of the user consulting the tool.

This system, therefore, will allow to convey the necessary information to the stakeholders of the automotive supply chain involved in the research and development of CCAM solutions, with the promise of facilitating an efficient and inclusive transition to new and better forms of mobility.

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