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Drive Sweden Policy Lab – paving the way for future mobility

One of Drive Sweden´s thematic areas – Policy Development – focuses on a recurring problem for innovation, namely that of regulations and policies that haven’t kept up with the fast-paced technological development. This creates a risk that new, groundbreaking, products and services might get delayed or never even reach the market. One of Drive Sweden’s strategic projects, Drive Sweden Policy Lab, is working to prevent this from happening. Within the lab, a wide range of stakeholders gather to solve the bottlenecks for projects and innovations that are at the forefront.

The Drive Sweden Policy Lab puts together different actors with different perspectives on what is needed for innovation within mobility not to lose momentum. The aim of the project is to bridge the gap between innovation and regulation to enable companies to reach market introduction for new products or services faster, or in other ways be able to move forward.

Agile way of working for optimized results

In order for the end-result to be as favorable as possible, the project uses an agile way of working, avoiding the temptation of trying to find a quick solution. The analysis is allowed to take some time and might need some fine-tuning. After the rounds of interviews with various stakeholders and independent experts, new analyses and workshops for all interested parties are carried out. It is important to include a wide range of stakeholders, according to Kristina Andersson, senior researcher and legal expert at RISE, and coordinator of the Drive Sweden Policy Lab:

“We believe in tearing down silos. It is important that we gather different competences, it gives us new perspectives”, says Kristina Andersson, highlighting the finalised Drive Sweden project PLATT as an example of when different perspectives led to better results:

”The common denominator was how to relate to new legislation regarding the application procedure for trial activities with self-driving vehicles, but the problems looked different depending on the stakeholder. During the process they helped each other solve some of the issues. This resulted in, for example, that the authorities published new information on their websites clarifying the rules and that a best practice was developed together with the Swedish Transport Agency in which the application procedure for trial activities with self-driving vehicles is explained.”

Different types of solutions

The solutions being developed can be of different nature. Other than updated information from authorities, the work can lead to changes in companies’ internal policy documents or that they approach the Government Offices with proposed legislative changes. No matter what action is needed, Drive Sweden Policy Lab, together with its partners, always takes the first step towards a productive change and initiates the necessary conversations.

”We act as a facilitator for different priorities in different ecosystems and our neutral ground stimulates good conversations that can get everyone on the same track. In our work we strive to make our partners more skilled, so that they can take the next steps in these processes by themselves in the future” says Kristina Andersson.

Current cases

As of today, Drive Sweden Policy Lab is collaborating on cases with two on-going Drive Sweden projects. The first one is about autonomous buses within a KRABAT related project. It examines what happens when you let buses drive themselves in a bus depot. This has never been tested before and affects the working environment in the depot, calling for a new work environment policy for one of the companies involved. The second case links to the CEVISS project, investigating for example, how to share vehicle data from vehicles passing an accident site with the rescue service. What are you allowed to share? What data should be considered for sharing? And how would this be handled?

In addition, work related to, for example, LIMA which develops and tests a mobility service for those working at and around Lindholmen, is underway. Here, car rental legislation is being reviewed so that new, flexible services can be launched in the project.
Another example is a car sharing project within KRABAT, where the Swedish Tax Agency updated their website with information on how taxation should look when private individuals share cars with each other.

More actors and more challenges are welcome

Today, the policy lab consists of a wide range of stakeholders but new member organizations and problems to solve are always welcome.

“We want project partners with actual problems. It can be an authority that want something related to new regulations to be solved, or the industry not knowing how to move on within an R&D project. And we want to talk to different actors to find solutions suited for everyone within the ecosystem” says Kristina Andersson and continues:

“Getting involved in the Drive Sweden Policy Lab can also be a great way of networking, increasing your skills, building knowledge and finding your place within your ecosystem”.

If you want to get involved in policy development linked to future mobility, contact Kristina Andersson, project leader for the Drive Sweden Policy Lab.