Mobility stands on the threshold of a new era. By 2030, the EU plans to have three million electric vehicle charging points and 1,000 hydrogen filling stations in service across the continent. Automated mobility will be deployed at large scale, and digitalisation will fuel increasingly multi-modal transportation options. The new era of smart mobility will be efficient not only for consumers, who will have more convenient options than ever before, but also for our environment. By leveraging digitalisation and enabling innovative mobility solutions, like car sharing, driverless buses, and electric bicycles, the European Commission hopes to reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 90% in just a few decades.
“Luxembourg welcomes mobility innovators,” explains Joost Ortjens, Head of International Business Development Automotive at Luxinnovation. “Companies working on these innovations need a place where they can test them on the roads,” and thanks not only to its network of thoroughfares but also its unique automotive and ICT ecosystems, the Grand Duchy is the most dynamic location in Europe to do just that.
SnT is an important part of Luxembourg’s smart mobility ecosystem. “Our research centre conducts impact-oriented research. This includes projects with industrial partners — both large and small companies, as well as projects and ideas that are long-term and high risk,” says Prof. Raphaël Frank, Head of SnT’s 360Lab. At his lab, researchers explore the best solutions for tomorrow’s automated vehicles — and test them with their unique self-driving car, which they call “Junior”. “[Our] PhD students work on these projects in a time horizon of 3 to 4 years and [this allows them] enough time to publish relevant research results, but at the same time also create value for the companies we work with.”
But innovation doesn’t end with graduation. Thriving SnT spin-off company Motion-S, for example, is still led by SnT alumni. “Research is in our DNA,” says German Castignani, SnT Research Fellow and the startup’s CEO and co-founder. “But what is also very important in this ecosystem is the support from industrial partners. All our projects, prototypes and POCs [proofs of concept] have been developed and launched in Luxembourg, with Luxembourgish companies,” says Castignani. “It is a very, very good place to start something new.”
The country’s unique mix of established automotive industry, leading research laboratories, and entrepreneurially minded talent combine to make it Europe’s most exciting mobility laboratory. The future of mobility solutions is smart, flexible, and green — and it is also made in Luxembourg.