19 Apr 2016


On 14 April, the transport ministers of all 28 EU member states signed the Amsterdam Declaration, laying down agreements on the steps necessary for the development of connected, autonomous driving technology in the EU. The signatories pledge to draw up rules and regulations that will allow autonomous vehicles to be used on the roads.

The European Commission has taken important steps with the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) platform, the Round Table on Connected and Automated Driving and the Gear 2030 initiative. Nevertheless, a more coordinated approach is called for between Member States and at European level to remove barriers and to promote a step-by-step learning-by-experience approach such as the European truck platooning challenge. It is essential to support an exchange of information of results and best practices by linking and integrating such initiatives.

The document also sets out actions by members states, the European Commission, and industry. An important priority for member states is ensuring that the Vienna and Geneva Conventions on Road Traffic allow the use of connected and automated vehicles on public roads, and to consider a revision of vehicle and traffic safety regulations within this context.

Further, member states should identify and, where possible, remove legal barriers to the testing and deployment of connected and automated vehicles, based on a learning-by-experience approach.

For its part, the EC needs to develop a shared European strategy on connected and automated driving, based upon the shared objectives of the Declaration, as well as through strengthening the links between existing platforms such as the C-ITS Platform, Gear 2030 and the Round Table on Connected and Automated Driving.

The EC is also to develop a coordinated approach towards research and innovation activities in the field of connected and automated driving, within the Energy Union Research, Innovation and Competitiveness Strategy and its Strategic Transport Research and Innovation Agenda, bringing together the work of the EU and of Member States.

Industry participants are to participate actively in the development of the European strategy and agenda on connected and automated driving—and, of course, to develop vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication systems (C-ITS) and continue standardization work to ensure that new services and systems are interoperable at EU level.

The Amsterdam Declaration stresses the importance of interoperability and standardization both at the European and at the international level.

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