The Autonomous Main Event, held on-site at the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna and virtually on September 27, 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 ACT TO IMPACT, this year’s The Autonomous Main Event will be all about taking action and showcasing concrete steps to work together towards a common goal: overcoming the multiple safety challenges facing the autonomous mobility revolution. International decision-makers and autonomous mobility experts representing a wide variety of companies and institutions from all over the world (Europe, USA, Asia) will jointly discuss the progression of autonomous driving and present their solutions and visions for safe autonomy.


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 Impact of Autonomous Systems on Urban and Highway Mobility​

Autonomous mobility solutions have the power to change the world, promising a significant improvement to people’s lives: safer and quicker transit, more accessible, comfortable, convenient, efficient and environment-friendly ways of transportation. In the future, we will see highly automated vehicles on the highway as well as in urban environments. However, human-driven and automated vehicles are likely to have to share the roads for decades before we shift to a fully automated transport system. There are various visions of where the first autonomous vehicles should be deployed. Some well-known use cases include last-mile deliveries, robo-shuttles & robo-taxis, but also Level 4 highway pilots. Many stakeholders need to work together to make these visions a reality.

Rethinking Safety Concepts for Level 4 systems

Level 4 systems are on the horizon. Still, there are a lot of insecurities on how to ensure a Level 4 autonomous vehicle is working safely in the given Operational Design Domains. Different players are looking to find their own solutions to this problem in the industry. But is this approach feasible? The panelists will discuss the way forward for a state-of-the-art system architecture for safe self-driving cars.

Regulation in Autonomous Driving – are we moving fast enough?

Legislation is needed to drive and encourage innovation. Around the world, there are different approaches to regulation and legislation. This makes it hard for companies to roll out innovative technologies in more than one country and make innovation usable to the masses. Technology providers and industry players must be active in defining legislation concerning applicable autonomous technologies. Furthermore, when it comes to using autonomous systems in road traffic, human lives are at stake. Regulators and city governments must keep up to guide a safe development and deployment of autonomous vehicles. The panelists will discuss best practices for collaboration between industry and regulators.

The Impact of AI on Autonomous Driving – Opportunities and limitations

Autonomous driving is based in large part on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and neural networks. Autonomous vehicles are expected to drive themselves, eliminate accidents and be safer than human-driven cars. This means that cars need to be equipped with sensory and cognitive functions. Humans need to trust autonomous vehicles; they must compare the decisions taken on the road and agree to (at least most) of them. Technologies like in-car driver monitoring, vision and detection systems, and machine ethics build the basis. But will it ever be possible to drive safely through London, Paris or San Francisco in the confusing hustle and bustle of a rush hour while relaxing at the wheel and reading the newspaper? Our world-class speakers will share their insights and potential solutions.

Status and potential of data-driven development

Autonomous vehicles produce enormous repositories of operational data that enable the movement of one vehicle to better inform the safe operations of others. Every aspect of automotive development is becoming increasingly reliant on data. We need data to implement autonomous features, especially considering AI developments, trajectory planning, calibration optimization and many more topics. Having just a vast amount of data is not sufficient, though; we need the ability to interpret and understand data to be able to use it accurately. The data-driven development approach is already standard in certain technologies. Is it complementing the autonomous mobility development, or should it be its basis?

The race towards Trustworthy Autonomy – is the trucking industry overtaking passenger cars?

Autonomous trucks have gained notable traction in the last years. In the race to put fully autonomous vehicles on the road, commercial trucks that drive themselves may be even pulling ahead of self-driving cars. Autonomous trucking is gaining momentum as the need to move goods around the world increases and the number of truck drivers decreases. However, not everyone is excited about seeing self-driving trucks in the lane next to them. There are various worries when it comes to the commercialization of fully autonomous trucks, as they disrupt the logistics and trucking industry. Moreover, some of them are already on the roads collecting data, doing their first miles, but also creating entirely new jobs and career paths.

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 will open soon, so keep an eye on our website and LinkedIn channel!

Networking and audience interactivity opportunities

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)
  • Networking breaks (in-person at the event venue)
  • Chat rooms (for our virtual participants) – allow for a 1-on-1 exchange with likeminded experts via an instant messenger

Our Speakers

Have you seen our fantastic lineup of featured speakers? Check it out here, we will be announcing more speakers in the coming days.


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.

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By Iulia Juchert

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