As part of the government’s Nano Dialogue, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety organised another expert dialogue on 26 and 27 September 2017. The event entitled "Opportunities and Risks of Nano Technology Applications in the Automotive Sector" provided an overview of current and future applications of nanotechnologies in cars. Discussions were held on the potential opportunities and risks for humans and the environment on the basis of numerous examples given of applications for surface coatings, filters, batteries, lighting systems, electronic components and in particular sensors.
The assumption of the participants of the expert dialogue was that no severe (eco-)toxic risks are associated with nanoscale materials used in cars as they are mostly bound in matrices. Exposure of workers and the environment would thus be expected to be low during manufacturing and may arise at most from processes involved. Discussions centred more on the assessment of resource efficiency and energy saving as well as on recycling options for used materials and components. As at previous expert dialogues, the issue of waste treatment was raised once again.
Furthermore, a presentation on the long-term vision for autonomous driving technology and the highly automated production of vehicles led to questions regarding societal, ethical and economic impacts of potential future mobility concepts and the associated changes in industrial competencies in Germany.