Imagine that you are driving along, and a message is projected on your windscreen, warning you of an accident that has just happened around the next corner. This could soon be a reality thanks to new European standards. Connected cars, able to communicate with each other and with road infrastructures, are expected to appear on European roads in 2015.
Two European standards organisations, ETSI and CEN, confirmed today that the basic set of standards requested by the European Commission to make connected cars a reality has been fully completed. The norms which they have adopted ensure that vehicles made by different manufacturers can communicate with each other. The EU invested more than €180 million in research projects on cooperative transport systems, whose results helped develop the standards. This will put the European car industry, which provides 13 million jobs, out in front in the race to develop the next generation of cars.
Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission, welcomed this important step: “With this set of standards ready, connected cars are on the right track. Direct communication between vehicles and infrastructures will ensure safer and more efficient traffic flows, with great benefits for drivers & pedestrians, our environment and our economy. This shows Europe’s unique digital advantage. But for connected cars to really work, we also need more consistency in rules that underpin fast broadband networks. Our fragmented spectrum policy puts the brakes on our economy – now it’s time to get our connected continent up to cruising speed”.
Intelligent transport has been a priority of the EU research and innovation programmes. EU-funded research projects have played a major role in the development of the standards, with more than €180 million invested in some 40 different projects working on cooperative systems since 2002. These projects provided their results to ETSI and CEN/ISO, which in turn used them to develop the standards. The EU also funded different operational tests and pilots, as well as standardisation project teams.
Work on the Release 2 standardisation package has already begun to fine tune existing standards and deal with more complex use cases. European organisations cooperate closely with American and Japanese organisations to ensure that the systems are compatible across the globe.