Automated & Connected

EU adopts new rules to accelerate clean, connected, and automated mobility technology

The European Commission has adopted new rules to step up the deployment of its Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) on Europe's roads. C-ITS is a technology platform that delivers services, for example, alerting drivers to traffic conditions or road work, to help make traffic safer and more efficient. 

The new specifications establish the minimal legal requirements for interoperability between the different cooperative systems used, sates an EU press release. The adoption of the new rules is an important stage in enabling communication among vehicles. As of this year, vehicles, traffic signs, and motorways will be equipped with technology to send standardized messages to all traffic participants around them, it says.

Thus, C-ITS will allow vehicles to ‘talk' to each other, to the road infrastructure, and to other road users—for instance about dangerous situations, road works and the timing of traffic lights, making road transport safer, cleaner, and more efficient, says the release. 

The new rules are in line with the proposals on clean mobility introduced by the Juncker Commission, are a further step for modernizing the European mobility sector, preparing it for climate neutrality in the second half of the century and contributing to the EU's long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 or “Vision Zero.”

What the EU calls the ‘cooperative element’—enabled by digital connectivity between vehicles, and between vehicles and the transport infrastructure—is expected to significantly improve road safety, traffic efficiency, and comfort when driving. 

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In response to inquiry about protecting data between connected vehicles, an EU fact sheet says: “For Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems to work effectively, road users need to be aware of each other's movements at all times. Thus C-ITS will frequently send information to other nearby vehicles (up to 1 km away). To limit the amount of personal data sent, these data are limited to what is necessary and do not include the driver's identity, nor that of the vehicle; a pseudonym is used instead, so others cannot identify you. Therefore, the new rules will also make C-ITS communications cyber secure and trusted. Drivers are kept informed of the data processing and the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems station can be turned off at any time.

Next, the Commission decision takes the form of a delegated act. The publication of the delegated act is followed by a two-month period during which both the European Parliament and the Council may oppose its entry into force.

Read the release