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Mobility and Transport

Automation and digitalisation in transport

The Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, sets out a roadmap for putting transport on track for a sustainable and smart future. One of the milestones on the path towards sustainable, smart and resilient mobility is having automated mobility deployed on a large scale by 2030. The strategy recognises that changes in the transport sector, in particular those involving automation and digitalisation, are creating many new challenges as well as opportunities for the workforce.

As announced in the strategy, the European Commission issued a Recommendation on means to address the impact of automation and digitalisation on the transport workforce in 2023. In preparation of this Recommendation, we have discussed the outcomes of the 2021 Study on the social dimension of the transition to automation and digitalisation in transport, focusing on the labour force with all relevant stakeholders and has organised a participatory stakeholder conference on 21 March 2023.

Another horizontal study, published in 2022, looks at the social dimension of the future EU transport system regarding users and passengers.

The study provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by different user groups and across different Member States and presents recommendations on how these may be tackled.


The social dimension of the transition to automation was already addressed at the Digital Transport Days (Tallinn, November 2017), where panellists discussed the impact of digitalisation on the transport workforce and users. Following up, the Council, in its conclusions on the digitalisation of transport of 5 December 2017, emphasised the importance of wide societal dialogue on these issues and called on the Commission to ‘assess the socio-economic and environmental impact of automation and digitalisation in the field of transport taking into account the new skills needed in that sector, and, if necessary, to propose measures to address those impacts'.

As a first step, the European Commission organised a participatory conference 'Automation in transport: how does it affect the labour force?' on the impact of automation in transport on the labour force on 20 November 2018 in Brussels. The conference focused on the most important trends in automated transport and how they affect the labour force in transport.

The impact on the labour force in transport was also discussed during the Digital Transport Days (Helsinki, October 2019) in a dedicated session on 'Managing the transition towards digitalisation and automation – social aspects'.