Our Themes

What themes to address the challenges of decarbonization and digitalization?


En France, the Energy-Climate Law of 2019 set the objective of carbon neutrality by 2050. This imperative applies particularly to the transportation sector, as emphasized in the Mobility Orientation Law (LOM).

On the other hand, digital transition has become an undeniable necessity for the transportation sector. Stakeholders must respond to and adapt to this digital transition, for which innovation is essential.

Thus, to best address the challenges of its members, CARA focuses its initiatives on innovation in passenger and freight transport systems through these two main themes:

Issue 1: Decarbonization of Mobility and Environmental Impacts

Decarbonizing mobility is crucial for combating climate change. The transportation sector is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, accounting for approximately 30% of global CO2 emissions. Decarbonization aims to reduce these emissions by adopting more sustainable technologies and practices.

Energy Transition

The theme of energy transition is broad and encompasses developments in mobility powered by renewable energies or based on energy vectors such as hydrogen, produced from renewable energies. We support our members on the challenges of electromobility, including topics such as batteries, fuel cells, retrofitting, and the development of charging infrastructure. Among the recurring and interesting topics in our network, we also find power electronics.

Alternative Mobility Solutions for Goods and People / Urban Logistics

As a Competitiveness Cluster, CARA also addresses mobility through a systemic approach: territories, technical solution experiments, services, stakeholders, etc. One of the flagship topics is urban logistics, which includes all activities that optimize the movement of goods in cities and provide innovative responses to the demands of the local economy and residents. Another topic is the movement of people through new mobility solutions and Mobility-As-A-Service.


The transformation of industrial processes in the mobility sector is marked by innovations and optimizations aimed at improving efficiency, reducing costs, and decreasing carbon footprint. The main aspects of this transformation revolve around topics such as:

  • Automation and Robotics: to improve precision, speed, and quality of manufacturing while reducing labor costs;
  • Additive Manufacturing (3D printing): to produce complex parts with less material and waste, thus reducing costs and environmental impacts;
  • Industry 4.0: to develop smarter and more flexible management of production processes;
  • Energy Efficiency: to reduce energy consumption, such as using more efficient electric motors, improving thermal insulation, and optimizing industrial processes;
  • Advanced Materials: to reduce vehicle weight and improve energy efficiency;
  • Circular Economy: to minimize waste and promote more sustainable use of resources.

These transformations respond to increasing demands for sustainability, efficiency, and innovation, redefining industry standards.

Issue 2 : Digitalization

Digitalization and the development of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) present several crucial challenges:

  • Efficiency: Optimization of traffic flows and reduction of congestion, improving travel times and reducing economic costs associated with congestion;
  • Safety: Reduction of accidents through real-time surveillance technologies and communication systems between vehicles and infrastructure;
  • Sustainability: Decrease in greenhouse gas emissions through more efficient transport management and promotion of shared mobility and public transport;
  • Technological Innovation: Stimulation of innovation in automation, connectivity, and new mobilities, offering new economic opportunities;
  • Quality of Life: Improvement of user experience and accessibility of transport, making travel more convenient and inclusive.

The development of ITS is essential for creating more efficient, safe, and sustainable transport systems adapted to contemporary challenges.

Intelligent Vehicles and Transport Systems

In full development in Europe, Intelligent Transportation Systems are considered a certain future of what mobility will look like, as society as a whole is moving towards digitalization. Among the topics, CARA supports the development of automated vehicles and their legislation at the National and European levels. The cluster is also involved in ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), fleet operation, and fleet management.

Intelligent Processes

In response to the digitalization challenge in the mobility sector, this theme addresses innovations in production, whether around the factory of the future with Industry 4.0 or with the contribution of AI and augmented reality to optimize production in the industry.

How to support these themes?


To support our network in innovating new solutions (or disrupting current ones) addressing these themes, four objectives have been set:

Vehicles & Components: Designing environmentally friendly vehicles and technologies tailored to usage

Mobility Efficiency: Optimizing the use of scarce resources of space and time

Uses & Knowledge: Supporting, assisting, and equipping public policies

Governance & Public Policies: Supporting, assisting, and equipping public policies

Discover our research programs


The program focuses on the entire energy chain on board vehicles, from energy input to emissions, including life cycle assessment and usage. The goal is to seek economically viable, socially acceptable, low-carbon, and minimally harmful solutions (particulates, noise, vibration).

  • Connection with the energy infrastructure (connectivity with charging stations, gas filling, recharging, accounting);
  • Energy storage (gaseous or liquid hydrogen, batteries, LOHC, e-fuels, biofuels, fuel tanks/feed circuits, recharging system, other forms (supercapacitors, compressed air, flywheels);
  • Energy conversion and adaptation (EP (active and passive components, DCDC converters, semiconductors), electric or thermal engines, PAC system, transmission, hybridization, energy recovery);
  • Energy management, optimization, and associated algorithms (EMS, BMS, engine control, TMS, FCMS, onboard energy management);
  • Impacts of energy conversion (noise, vibration, primary and secondary emissions, EATS, EMC);
  • LCA (critical materials (rare earths, perfluorinated, criticality, hazardousness), CO2 cycle, retrofitting, second life/recycling);
  • Usages (ERS, predictive maintenance, battery swapping).


The program focuses on preventing and managing risks and accidents in the transportation (mobility) of people and goods. It aims to develop innovative solutions that enhance road safety and improve protection for users and personnel towards a vision of zero accidents and risks. Reliability and cybersecurity are emphasized to enhance protection against threats to individuals and computer systems, making risks associated with various uses acceptable. The program revolves around the following areas of expertise:

Primary safety

  • Analysis of accident factors
  • Understanding accident mechanisms
  • Developing and evaluating systems, including automated driving assistance
  • Enhancing autonomous vehicle integration into traffic
  • Developing and evaluating detection/perception systems for other users/obstacles
  • Improving infrastructure safety and developing secure intermodality

Secondary safety

  • Improving occupant safety during sudden deceleration (impact, braking, turning)
  • Ensuring compatibility with vulnerable road users
  • Assisting and securing mobility for individuals with sensory difficulties and persons with reduced mobility (PRM)
  • Detection systems for other users/obstacles

Tertiary safety

  • Developing alert systems, access, and priority for emergency services
  • Improving infrastructure safety and developing secure intermodality

Safety of individuals

Protecting users from operation or malfunction risks that pose unacceptable threats to physical integrity – functional safety (systems, electronics, hardware, and software)

Safety of property

  • Facilitate and secure loading/unloading operations
  • Protect against theft and vandalism
  • Ensure safe transport of hazardous materials in urban areas (radioactive sources, small volumes, medical waste)

Vehicle security

  • Protection against damage
  • Developing the vehicle’s peripheral vision/perception

Systems safety

  • AImproving and ensuring the safety of highly autonomous vehicle routes (on vehicles and infrastructures)
  • Enhancing the integration of autonomous vehicles into traffic
  • Improving and ensuring the security of telematics data (radioactive sources, small volumes)
  • Enhancing and ensuring the security of personal data
  • Improving and ensuring cybersecurity (operation and cyber attacks)
  • Improving and ensuring the security of systems, including communication and detection (operation and cyber attacks)


The program focuses on developing and integrating innovative solutions and technologies to enhance the attractiveness, performance, and competitiveness of vehicles.

The program is structured around the following areas of expertise:

Vehicle synthesis (Integration and validation)

  • Vehicle architecture (layout/integration of components & modules, components & subsystems, driver assistance systems)
  • Digital synthesis (architecture, simulations, performance, software defined vehicle – SDV)
  • Crash/Type approval
  • Vehicle efficiency (aerodynamics, ground friction, energy management & auxiliary optimization, weight => lightweighting)
  • Vehicle dynamics & chassis
  • Electronic architecture (network system)
  • Electromagnetic issues (EMC, disturbances & interference)
  • Onboard energy (integration, range, interface with charging infrastructure)

Onboard life / comfort

  • Design / Style / Ergonomics
  • Perceived quality (visual, haptic, acoustic)
  • Air quality (odor, filtration…)
  • Acoustics (Noise/Vibration/Harshness)
  • Onboard thermal management (cabin, components)
  • Human-Machine Interface (HMI) & infotainment

Processes and assemblies

  • Materials (recycled materials, bio-sourced materials, composites/hybrids, high-performance steel, aluminum…)
  • Multi-material assembly
  • Prototyping & additive manufacturing

Life cycle & TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)

  • Life Cycle Analysis
  • Eco-design & recycling
  • Maintainability / Repairability / Residual value of the asset (insurance perspective)
  • Retrofitting & second life of vehicles


The Transport Systems and Intelligence program focuses on:

  • Developing transport system concepts, technological components, and their interactions;
  • Evaluating their performance and optimizing them considering behavioral, human, and societal aspects.

The Transport Systems and Intelligence program aims to:

  • Integrate new technologies (artificial intelligence, blockchain, connectivity, 5G, new energies…);
  • Collaborate with partners from other clusters or specialized organizations in these technologies (e.g., Tenerrdis, Minalogic, System X, Vedecom…).


This program is currently being redesigned and will be detailed on this page soon.

LeIndustrial programs


These industrial programs aim to support companies in their innovations and transformations, focusing on industrial efficiency, economic development, and team development. Similar to research programs, they leverage the expertise of three industrial program directors.

One of the major challenges for industrial sites in France, and particularly for regions, is maintaining sufficient competitiveness to remain viable in a global market. This is especially critical in the automotive industry. It involves ensuring the safety of employees while minimizing the environmental footprint of production sites.

Tools such as Lean Management, Ergonomics, Corporate Social Responsibility (RSE), and Industry 4.0 play crucial roles in continuous improvement and are available to companies to enhance their operations.

Business Development :

Supporting companies in their regional, national, and international development, showcasing their expertise to partners to create business opportunities, and identifying new market opportunities driven by mobility transformations are the ambitions of the Business Development program.

International missions, participation in international trade shows, highlighting projects developed by network companies, monitoring specialized support programs, and networking with partner clusters all contribute to the growth and development of regional businesses.

Compétences et Mutualisation :

Innovation lies at the heart of mobility issues, driven by technological advancements (ecological transition, digitalization of vehicles and transport services, as well as industrial tools) and societal changes. This particularly fertile innovation dynamic cannot thrive without the women and men who drive it forward. Evolving skills are crucial to successfully transform mobility businesses. Maintaining and enhancing the skills of employees, as well as recruiting new talents, are key challenges that 21st-century enterprises must address.

The Competencies and Sharing program aims to support companies and educational institutions on these topics, thereby contributing to the collective success in addressing the challenges faced by the Mobility sector as a whole.