European Commission’s digital package outlines regulatory and policy actions for connected and automated driving

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented today three publications setting out the Commission’s priorities on digital issues: “Europe for the digital age,” “A European Strategy for data,” and a White Paper on Artificial Intelligence. The Commission also sets out to adopt in 2020-2021 a number of legislative proposals which will directly influence the deployment of connected and automated driving, such as a revised liability framework to address safety and liability for automated cars and a review of the type approval legislation for motor vehicles to open it up to more car data based services.


CLEPA supports the European Commission’s overall approach outlined in today’s publications, and stresses the importance of digitalisation in the automotive sector’s transformation. Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the association of the automotive suppliers’ industry in Europe, comments:


“Connectivity, higher levels of vehicle automation, and the move towards near or full autonomous driving are megatrends that are transforming mobility, and the automotive suppliers of Europe are a driving force behind this transformation towards sustainable, safe and smart mobility. We support the Commission’s objective to provide the supportive regulatory framework needed to make this transformation a success for Europe.”


In its European strategy for data, the Commission states its intention to make more data available in order to help data-driven businesses to emerge, grow, and innovate. CLEPA shares the Commission’s views on the value of data for the European economy and society. Therefore, we warmly welcome this approach and, in particular, support the idea of developing a “common European mobility data space” in order to make it easier to use data produced by connected cars, while ensuring that citizens remain in control of their personal data. Sigrid de Vries comments:


“Connected and automated vehicles will generate large amounts of data, which holds great potential for the automotive industry. Under the right framework conditions, the availability of automotive data will allow the development of new business models that help finance the innovation that will assure continued European leadership in the global mobility market. For the success of new services, especially in repair and aftermarket, independent and unmonitored access to in-vehicle data and resources must be ensured for third parties.”


CLEPA also welcomes the Commission’s proactive and supportive approach towards the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its objective to make Europe a frontrunner in this new technology. We support the incentives proposed to boost the development and uptake of AI across the EU economy. We also agree that ensuring citizens’ trust and acceptance is crucial. However, automotive suppliers believe that a balance must be achieved to ensure that this goal does not stifle innovation, which could reduce the safety benefits that automated vehicles can bring. Sigrid de Vries says:


“Advanced driverless technology needs to be embedded in a regulatory framework, and public acceptance of future driverless cars and trucks needs to be increased. CLEPA fully supports the Commission’s objective to review existing EU legislation and adapt it to better address the risks of safety and liability in the context of AI. The risk-based approach adopted by the Commission is the right one to prevent the regulatory framework from being overly prescriptive and disincentivise innovation in this emerging field. However, automotive suppliers must also caution against one-size-fits-all approaches: AI for automated cars is highly complex and must make quick real-time decisions. This differs widely from AI applications for other fields, and should be reflected in any regulatory or policy approach.”



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