Technical readiness of artificial intelligence, lack of investments, and insufficient data quality slow down EU businesses in global AI race

Technology Uncategorized

A new report by EIT Urban Mobility [1] reveals businesses in the EU need better data collection and processing capabilities to reap the full benefits of artificial Intelligence (AI). 60% of experts surveyed for the report identified the lack of technical feasibility – the ability of AI solutions to competently carry out tasks – as the biggest barrier to AI solution deployment, followed by poor data availability and quality (50%).


According to industry experts, budget constraints (30%) is the next most important barrier to the development and deployment of AI in Europe, which confirms an earlier analysis by the European Investment Bank stressing the lack of investments in AI at EU level [2]. Targeted investments to improve collection and processing of data by European businesses are crucial to catch up with AI leaders China and the US.


The report was launched today at the Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence event in Madrid by EIT Urban Mobility – an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union – in collaboration with Siemens Mobility and with the participation of Maria José Rallo, General secretary of Transportation and Mobility at the Spanish Ministry of Transportation, Mobility, and Urban Agenda and Torsten Klimke, Head of Innovation and Research Unit of DG MOVE at the European Commission.


The report builds on a survey of more than 60 European experts in the fields of urban mobility, climate, manufacturing, and health. In the mobility sector, AI applications are mostly used for user-centric mobility services [3], traffic and logistics forecasts, on-demand bus services, vehicle tracking on transport networks, or self-driving car technologies such as automated valet parking.


In the wake of AI’s rapid uptake in recent years, industry experts identified cybersecurity (73%), compliance (55%), and personal privacy (55%) as the three top risks arising from AI development and deployment.
To face these risks, European businesses need competent staff equipped with the necessary AI knowledge and skills. One in five experts think their company needs to invest more in AI talents and training.


Dr. Maria Tsavachidis, CEO of EIT Urban Mobility, said: “The Recovery plans are a unique opportunity to strengthen EU´s efforts to leverage the vast opportunities of artificial intelligence, and to upskill the workforce. EIT Urban Mobility looks forward to supporting policymakers and business leaders in accelerating AI uptake to provide better, citizen-centred mobility services.”


In addition to the Next Generation EU recovery package that will assist Member States’ green and digital transformation, the European Commission proposed in spring 2021 a harmonization of rules for AI [4], and launched a new EU funding instrument [5] of up to €150 million to support AI early and growth companies in Europe.


[1] The report can be accessed from the QR code


[2] European Investment Bank, Artificial intelligence, blockchain and the future of Europe, June 2021:


[3] European Commission proposal for a regulation, April 2021: 


[4] European Commission, March 2021: 



Pic: Main barriers for deploying AI solutions are lack of technical feasibility, lack of data availability, poor data quality & integrity, and budget constraints.


EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, aims to accelerate solutions and the transition towards a user-centric, integrated and truly multimodal transport system. As the leading European innovation community for urban mobility, EIT Urban Mobility works to avoid fragmentation by facilitating collaboration between cities, industry, academia, research and innovation to solve the most pressing mobility challenges of cities. Using cities as living labs, its industry, research and university partners will demonstrate how new technologies can work to solve real problems in real cities by transporting people, goods and waste in smarter ways.