Earlier this fall I had the opportunity to visit Ireland for the first time to speak at the CASE: Driving the Future transatlantic forum, hosted by Enterprise Ireland, the national trade and innovation agency of Ireland.
Representing Forth, I presented on the Safety, Policy and Blindspots: A City Perspective panel, sharing how cities in the U.S. are driving EV adoption through policy and those policies vary regionally.
Ireland is a hotbed of technology firms, many doing work in the connected and autonomous space and we heard from a number of start-up firms, as well as the major OEMs and component suppliers. The speakers at CASE represented the U.S., Germany, United Arab Emirates, UK and of course, Ireland.
What stood out to me at CASE is how cars are getting smarter. ZF has ball-joint sensor technology that can monitor road conditions, car load and even preventative maintenance. Continental has sensors that monitor tire pressure and tread, and Volkswagen is launching its Car-NET platform, which will have a number of apps that monitor vehicle health, using driving behavior data to price insurance plans, and through a partnership with Verizon, your car can become an addition to your cell plan.
Beyond the conference, I participated on a tour of Jaguar Land Rover’s Connected Autonomous Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Shannon, Ireland. It was certainly a highlight of the trip and we got to see the specific technologies that monitor street conditions, moving objects (including people and animals), and validate data points on roads. We even got to see a model car with just the wiring/computers in place (unfortunately, no cameras allowed)!
Taking a day to explore Dublin, I didn’t see many EVs or public chargers, though the city boasts a great bus and tram system, as well as an extensive bike share program. E-scooters have not yet made their way to Ireland, so perhaps by the time I visit next, e-bikes will be incorporated in the bike share fleet.