Safety of driverless cars


Transport Commissioner Bulc has recently called for the development of safety in driverless car technologies. But how does the Commission plan to help the development of this technology? How will the Commission ensure that driverless cars are safe enough for public roads? And what else does the Commission plan to do to reduce the number of road accidents in the EU?



The Commission has recently published a report on vehicle safety to prepare the review of the safety requirements applying to cars, trucks and buses under the EU type-approval and the European Strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems. It is an important milestone towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility as communication between vehicles, infrastructure and with other road users is crucial also to increase the safety of automated vehicles and their full integration into the overall transport system. Moreover, the Commission launched in 2016 the High-Level Group for the automotive industry, GEAR 2030. Finally, the Commission provides funding for research on automation technology.


The Commission underlines that all vehicles put into the EU market have to comply with the safety requirements defined under the type-approval framework which guarantees they comply with the safety standards. Highly or fully automated vehicles, when they are available, will have to respect the same standards. If necessary, the Commission will not hesitate to propose additional safety standards for driverless cars.


The Commission is determined to see improved road safety in the EU. Road safety is, however, a competence shared between the Union and the Member States, which are responsible, for example, for police enforcement of traffic rules and the education of road users. The Commission proposes legislation where there is a clear added value in European Union action. In this regard, the Commission calls the attention of the Honourable Member to the on-going work for the review of General Safety Regulation for Type-Approval, the Directive on professional driver’s training and the review of the Directive on infrastructure safety.




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