Automation Agenda: The Mercedes-Benz WE-TRANSFORM Recap
On 24 October, Mercedes-Benz organized a workshop in their Stuttgart offices dedicated to the DACH region. It was attended by around 10 experts from key sectors including vehicle manufacturers that produce automated shuttles, trucks, buses, cars, and vans; the regional transportation department at the Land level in Germany; a law firm, and a workers’ council.
The EU H2020 project WE-TRANSFORM is committed to devising a proactive policy agenda that readies the transportation sector for the impending automation transition and its subsequent workforce evolution. In this endeavor, WE-TRANSFORM has initiated comprehensive dialogues with all pertinent parties—ranging from workers to employers across diverse transport modes. The purpose is to harness the collective wisdom and experiences of these stakeholders and collaboratively shape the policy agenda.
The project's inception phase encompassed a meticulous assessment of the prevailing state of affairs and sought extensive feedback from stakeholders. This exploratory phase highlighted both the advantages and challenges posed by the automation transition, and shed light on the existing initiatives poised to ease this shift. At present, the project's emphasis is on refining the policy agenda. This is done by actively engaging with concerned stakeholders through a sequence of localized workshops.
During the Mercedes-Benz workshop, attendees played a significant role in shaping the policy agenda spanning four pivotal themes:
- Public regulation and contractual negotiations
- Industrial governance
- Training and upskilling
- Mitigation of labour exclusion and potential exploitation.
The workshop's aim was to refine and substantiate policies, addressing four key aspects essential for actionable policy drafting:
- WHAT: Detailing the exact elements that the policy should encompass
- HOW: Determining the methodology for policy implementation, be it through directives, laws, or regulations
- WHEN: Deciding the appropriate timeframe for policy enactment
- WHO: Identifying the responsible entity for policy deployment, whether it's the EU, a specific country, region, or company.
The workshop's methodology involved:
- Two focus group sessions centered on the primary four thematic areas
- A dynamic discussion employing creative thinking to prioritize the policies
In the forthcoming weeks, the workshop's conclusions will be consolidated and incorporated into the final WE-TRANSFORM reports.