Talk is Golden

By 2019, the European Union aims to create the conditions for communication between vehicles and traffic infrastructure and thus reduce congestion and accidents. Always green lights, braking in time before the end of traffic jams, or giving road construction a wide berth – all that automatically. Dreams of the future for truck and car drivers? Yes, but perhaps not for much longer. In late 2016, the European Commission adopted the European Strategy for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS). Objective: In the future, vehicles should be able to communicate with each other and with the surrounding transport infrastructure. This will make mutual danger warnings, a better overview of traffic delays, and speeds optimized to traffic lights possible – just to name a few examples. By 2019, the EU wants to be able to commercially introduce C-ITS across a large area. The Commission is of the opinion that the market for such systems is worth several billion euros. This will benefit traffic efficiency and above all safety, because additional information for drivers helps to prevent many a dangerous situation from even occurring in the first place. In addition, such a networked infrastructure is a prerequisite for the integration of fully automated vehicles into the transport system. The strategy has six main components:

  1. Uniform approach There are many different projects based on the introduction of C-ITS-enabled vehicles and infrastructures across the EU. The Commission wants to bundle these together, create synergies, and above all ensure interoperability.
  2. Common priorities To avoid duplication of work and effort for systems that are not promising, a list of sophisticated C-ITS systems that have clear benefits and can be rapidly introduced throughout Europe should be made. The financial support is also bindingly regulated.
  3. Mix of communication technologies C-ITS data can be transmitted in various ways. To ensure a seamless connection of services, the strategy is banking on a hybrid technology mix of wifi-based short-range communications and existing cellular networks.
  4. Security and privacy Objectives in this area include the development of an EU security policy for the C-ITS-nets to ward off cyber-attacks. A uniform policy for the control and the special protection possibly transmitted personal data is also needed.
  5. Development of the legal framework For the protection of public and private investments and broad applicability of the technical rules, a corresponding regulatory catalog will be drawn up in the near future.
  6. International cooperation There is already a cooperation in place within the G7 countries, Australia, and Singapore. The exchange with international partners will be continued and intensified in the future.

The immediate next steps are the adoption of the legal framework and the provision of funding for further research and development.

Author: Sonja Terbrüggen

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