ESA title

Space for the Sports Car Sector - Efficiency, Safety and Sustainability

  • Opportunity Call for Proposals (Non-Competitive)
  • Activity Feasibility Study, Demonstration Project
  • Opening date 28-06-2024
  • Closing date 27-09-2024
  • WEBINAR 26 June 2024 - 14:00 CEST Register

Funding opportunity

The automotive sector is currently undergoing a rapid evolution, marked by a concerted effort around decarbonisation, sustainability, and digitalisation. One of the great challenges of the next few years will be to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the automotive industry throughout the full value chain, not only through electrification of vehicles.

The luxury sports car market is mirroring the transformation of the overall automotive sector as technological advancements, changing customer preferences and ongoing regulatory changes push car makers to seek innovative solutions to stay ahead. 

This ‘Space for the Sports Car Sector – Efficiency, Safety And Sustainability’ opportunity offers funding for teams who would like to develop sustainable space-based services and applications that address challenges related to the sports car sector.

The challenge

With a strong focus on cutting emissions during the use phase of the vehicles and for domestic use, addressing scope three emissions is also a challenge. Innovative technologies are required to help monitor and reduce emissions and to ensure the full value chain is held accountable.

The efficiency of the overall automotive supply chain is also under scrutiny, as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) aim to improve delivery methods of complex supply chains, to optimise routes, deliveries, and the tracking of goods for improved efficiency and transparency.

Furthermore, the luxury sports car market is seeing an increased demand from customers for innovative services to improve customer satisfaction, experience, and safety. This trend is fuelled by advancements in technology, particularly in connectivity and vehicle tracking systems, which serve as enablers. As consumers increasingly seek personalised and seamless experiences, automotive companies are aiming to leverage technology to deliver bespoke solutions, from real-time vehicle performance monitoring to route optimisation and enhanced security.

Topics of relevance

Below are some relevant topics that have been identified for this call.

Sustainability

Ensuring sustainable practices throughout the supply chain is crucial for organisations committed to environmental responsibility and social accountability. Innovative ways of auditing supplier sustainability practices to mitigate environmental impacts and promote ethical sourcing is a key challenge facing OEMs around the world. Key elements include:

  • Supplier sustainability auditing aims to address environmental concerns and social responsibility within the supply chain. There is a need to audit processes and identify areas for improvement so that strategic measures can be implemented to advance responsible sourcing and environmental stewardship across diverse supply chains.
  • Assessment of pollutants at OEM locations: Manufacturing processes are significant contributors to emissions, necessitating accurate assessment for effective environmental management. Organisations need innovative solutions to enhance the precision and reliability of emission assessments at their sites.

Route Optimisation

Route optimisation is essential for enhancing the driving experience by ensuring efficient and safe journeys. It plays a crucial role in maximising driver convenience, whether in selecting smoother routes to maintain vehicle comfort or navigating through adverse weather conditions. Some examples of use cases requiring route optimisation are as follows:

  • Road quality: For drivers of luxury sports vehicles, road quality is a critical factor for both the driving experience and for vehicle protection. The intricate design and low ground clearance of sports cars make them vulnerable to damage from road imperfections such as potholes, speed bumps, or debris. Innovative solutions are needed to provide comprehensive insights into road quality to suggest alternative, customised routes to drivers.
  • Driving in adverse weather conditions often requires car settings to be adjusted in the luxury sports car segment. The ability to give advanced weather warnings to drivers can improve satisfaction and safety as the driver knows in advance that settings will need to be modified, to finetune a car’s performance. Furthermore, weather conditions such as hailstorms can damage a car and innovative applications to propose alternative routes to the end destination that take into consideration the changing weather forecast would be valuable to drivers.

Logistics

Innovation in logistics has a crucial role to play in optimising supply chain operations. By integrating advanced digital solutions, the aim is to increase efficiency, reduce delays, and optimise resource utilisation, contributing to smoother and more cost-effective supply chain operations. Some examples of innovative applications required are as follows:

  • Booking/tracking system for inbound delivery trucks, to ensure efficient goods inwards processes and to monitor delays: The absence of a digital tracking system for inbound delivery trucks can lead to operational inefficiencies and potential delays in goods acceptance. To address this challenge, a comprehensive digital solution is required, This will empower users to manage delivery slots, provide live updates on truck locations and expected arrival times, offer arrivals confirmation, and enable drivers to designate deliveries as urgent or high priority. By implementing such a system, OEMs can streamline logistics operations, minimise queueing during peak hours, and optimise resource utilisation for enhanced efficiency.
  • Tracking of re-usable containers used to transport components and assemblies from suppliers is important for efficient supply chain management. A solution that would work for any method of transport or location is required. The aim would be to implement a digital tracing solution that provides real-time tracking to ensure efficient management and utilisation of containers throughout their journeys.

Safety

Safety is crucial across all domains, from wearable technology to enhance workplace safety to innovative tracking solutions to  combat car theft and reliable communications in low-connectivity areas to ensure the safety of drivers. 

  • Safety at work: In the fast-paced environment of luxury race car manufacturing, where precision and efficiency are critical, fatigue can pose significant risks to both employee safety and the quality of work. To address this challenge, innovative wearable technology is needed to provide insights in to the physical and mental conditions of team members with the aim of improving employee wellbeing.
  • Car theft prevention: Car theft remains a prevalent challenge in the automotive industry, posing financial losses and security risks for manufacturers and owners. Addressing this issue requires innovative solutions to locate stolen vehicles promptly and precisely. This includes the possibility of identifying potential routes and dispatch areas of stolen vehicles to aid recovery actions. 
  • Reliable communications: In remote or low-connectivity areas, prompt communication of critical situations such as SOS alerts, breakdowns, accidents, break-ins, and car theft is paramount for ensuring the safety of drivers and vehicles. Innovative solutions to address these challenges are required to establish reliable communication in remote or low-connectivity regions, ensuring prompt responses and assistance during emergencies.

Value of space

A few of the possible uses of various space assets are outlined below.

Satellite Positioning and Timing: Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) can enable innovative applications for the tracking and tracing of vehicles and goods through precise positioning, navigation, and timing. It can be used to provide coarse to high accuracy positioning information based on the specific use cases. For instance, GNSS can enable various route optimisation solutions by providing real-time location data as well as flow monitoring. It can be used to track and monitor valuable assets in transit, ensuring their timely delivery.

Satellite Communications: Satellite connectivity can play a crucial role in the signalling of critical situations such as SOS alerts, breakdowns, accidents, break-ins, or car theft in remote or low connectivity areas. Enabling prompt and reliable communication can improve the safety of drivers and vehicles by ensuring a quick response and assistance. 

Satellite Earth Observation (SatEO): SatEO data can be used to audit supplier operations, including factors such as land use, deforestation, and environmental impact. By combining insights from space-based sources such as satellite imagery and remote sensing with data collected from on-the-ground sensors, organisations can enhance the precision and reliability of emissions assessments. SatEO can also play a key role in innovative solutions to retrieve stolen vehicles.

What we look for

We look for promising business ideas addressing topics of relevance or related areas that propose:

Attractive market opportunities, identified customer needs and customer engagement

  • Commercially-viable service concepts
  • Technically feasible solutions
  • Added value of space data or technology
  • Motivated teams with business, technical, and financial expertise

How to apply

Once the call is open to proposal submissions (opening dates are noted above), details and associated documentation related to the call for proposals will be made available, including how to apply.

Authorisation of funding

This opportunity is open to companies that intend to develop space-enabled services and products related, but not restricted, to the topics of relevance outlined above. 

To be eligible for funding, your team must be based in one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. 

The applicable funding level of the individual prime or subcontractors is subject to authorisation from the relevant National Delegation(s). Therefore, bidding teams are requested to obtain a Letter of Authorisation from all their national delegations before submitting a Full Proposal. 

Webinar

Join our webinar on 26 June at 14:00 CEST. Registration details are at the top of this page.