Smart Cities as a centre of innovation: Accelerating mobility of tomorrow

Leuven, Belgium (2 May 2018) – Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission’s Vice-President for the Energy Union, officially kicks-off And& Summit & Festival from inside VEDECOM’s driverless car.

The world is moving fast into a new reality where mobility has a whole new meaning. Driving may no longer be about holding the wheel but about sitting back and reading a book. Driverless vehicles with advanced connectivity systems are set to change the way we move, work and live.

As mobility is crossing this new, digital frontier, the European Commission will soon table a communication “On the road to automated mobility: an EU strategy for mobility of the future”. The ambition is to make the EU a global leader in the deployment of key technologies and infrastructure to boost our competitiveness, improve road safety, reduce emissions and put an end to congestions.
In this context, Vice President Šefčovič “drove” an autonomous car in the streets of Leuven to officially start And& Summit & Festival that brings together thinkers, inventors, entrepreneurs, citizens and artists to discuss various aspects of future city life.

Maroš Šefčovič said: “European cities – like Leuven – are becoming incubators for new clean technologies. They are often the first ones to dare testing and implementing them. The city of Leuven is a perfect example of this, as it is set to become climate neutral by 2030.”

The event takes place on the day the European Commission presented its proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027. “Therefore, we have no choice but to make it modern,” said MaroŠ Šefčovič. He added: “We want to see at least 25% of the EU budget devoted to climate action.
By strengthening this link, we are taking a strategic approach – to live up to our commitments under the Paris Agreement and to accelerate an unprecedented modernisation of the entire EU economy.”

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