The Autonomous Main Event, held on-site at the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna and virtually on September 14, is the flagship event of The Autonomous initiative, bringing together top industry leaders, world-class safety experts, and renowned academic researchers at the forefront of innovation in autonomous and connected driving.

Guided by the motto MOVING BEYOND THE HYPE: UNLOCKING POTENTIAL, this year’s The Autonomous Main Event will steer discussions on the real-world progress of autonomous driving, recent milestones, and the challenges we must conquer. Our dynamic industry has swung between skepticism and confidence over the past year, and together with leading automakers and key tech players, we’ll explore the hype cycle of autonomous vehicles.


International decision-makers and autonomous mobility experts from Europe, the USA, and Asia will converge to share their visions and solutions for safe autonomy. Collaboration is key to realizing worldwide autonomous mobility, with safety as our priority and a thriving international community.


The Autonomous Main Event program consists of keynotes, panel discussions, workshops, and networking sessions (on-site and online). It offers the perfect balance of debate among subject matter experts and a much-wanted networking experience in a unique environment that allows all The Autonomous community, Working Group members, and thought-leaders to reconnect or build new connections.


Main Stage Topics

The program is based on key themes, which you can expect to be addressed in panel discussions and keynotes, highlighting the most burning topics for autonomous vehicles nowadays. Some of these topics include:


The act of driving a car presents significant risks to both passengers and other drivers on the road. Despite this, manual driving has become incredibly safe, with the injury rate being at an all-time low.

However, the introduction of automated driving requires the transfer of highly safety-critical responsibilities from humans to computing systems, emphasizing the need to ensure that these systems meet our expectations for safety. Given that driving is an intricate task, creating a failure-free system without considering potential failure modes and their implications is seemingly impossible. One approach is to define a comprehensive system architecture that can break down the complex requirements of an automated driving system. But how far can this top-down “safety by design” approach go? What are its benefits and limitations?


Software-Defined Vehicle (SDV) technology lays the foundation for self-driving cars. It is a work in progress that has come a long way and will see substantial advances in the next decade. By providing access to the latest safety, security, comfort, and convenience features, as well as over-the-air (OTA) updates, improved vehicle life-cycle management, and vehicle reporting, the SDV aims to significantly improve mobility. It seeks to transform the traditional vehicle-ownership experience by constantly enhancing and expanding its capabilities throughout its lifespan.

However, as with any new technology, with these advantages come increased risks. Safety-related software crashes, remote cyber threats, and significantly increased design complexity are among the top concerns for the industry.

Autonomous commercial vehicles in the spotlight – are they leading the race?

Commercial vehicles are pivotal in the AV market and present a promising business model. Recent advances in autonomous truck development emphasize freight transportation and evolving logistics trends. Additionally, autonomous shuttle services also gain traction, offering convenient and sustainable transportation options. The transition towards commercial applications of autonomous mobility indicates a rising interest in addressing practical issues. We will delve into this captivating topic together with well-known industry leaders.

Regulation – a bottleneck or a facilitator of autonomous driving?

Regulating autonomous vehicles is crucial for safe and successful automated mobility. Extensive worldwide development in AV regulations occurred in 2022. However, establishing regulations that foster innovation and, at the same time, promote safety is a challenging task that requires a multidisciplinary steering committee and a continuous exchange among engineers, politicians, lawmakers, insurers, NGOs and the general public. Our diverse panel made of international speakers will share the latest regulatory insights and potential solutions to the industry’s challenges.

Scene understanding: how do self-driving cars “see the world”?

Autonomous vehicles employ an assembly of complex sensors and perception algorithms to figure out what’s happening around them and to make a decision about what to do next. Safely getting a vehicle and its passengers from point A to B is no simple matter. Sensing and analyzing the world at a granular level is crucial in making self-driving cars a viable transportation option. There is a myriad of challenges for the next generation of autonomous vehicles and their ability to sense the road, other vehicles, bikes, pedestrians, or even the road lines when construction throws ambiguous detours into the mix.

In-Person Workshops (Vienna)

In addition to our Main Stage keynotes and panel discussions, we invite in-person attendees to engage in cross-industry exchange with mobility industry experts on specific topics.


Online registrations are open, so make sure you reserve your seat.


We know that opportunities to interact with your peers are what make events special. That’s why wherever possible and using the latest technology we will allow for:

  • Q&As with the speakers on stage (for both virtual and in-person participants)
  • Speed Networking breaks (in-person at the event venue)


During the event, you can simply scan the QR Code on your badge to:

  • Engage and connect with both on-site and virtual attendees using the Participants List
  • Reserve a private meeting room for your exclusive business discussions, a novel addition this year!

Our Speakers

Have you seen our fantastic lineup of featured speakers? Check it out here!


If you haven’t booked your Main Event ticket yet, hurry up, seats are limited!

You can secure your virtual or in-person ticket here.


By Iulia Juchert

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