EC should not rush connected car proposals

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

The electric car study 'EQ' by Mercedes-Benz can be seen at the 'Auto digital' conference at the Campus Center of the international Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany, 27 October 2016. [EPA/Ingo Wagner]

This article is part of our special report What’s driving Europe’s strategy on connected cars?.

DG MOVE has a very important decision to make this autumn. Under its own timetable, it is due to release fast-track proposals to define the technical solutions connected cars will be bound by for years to come.

Tony Graziano is vice-president of Huawei’s European Public Affairs and Communication Office.

The Commission’s forthcoming Delegated Act on Intelligent Transport Systems is of great concern to many in the auto, tech and telco sectors innovating connected car solutions – since the proposals appear to favour a specific technology above all others.

Its inclination towards vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V), based on short-range Wi-Fi (ITS-G5), will create barriers for the cellular vehicle-to-everything technology (C-V2X) that will exploit future 5G communications networks.

The narrow ITS-G5 option threatens to torpedo the Commission’s own target of reducing deaths and serious injuries from traffic accidents by 50% over the next decade. This is because it is C-V2X technology which will use 5G to connect with road infrastructure, improving information to drivers and thus road safety.

C-V2X is indeed the technology available today and of the future – it will also provide all sorts of media and entertainment to cars – whereas the best that can be said for ITS-G5 is that it is allegedly available. To base technical standards on an option that most regions of the world will soon be leaving behind does not bode well.

The Commission’s argument is that these two technological paths should be interoperable. Yet obliging interoperability in itself creates a huge barrier to an open market.

The Commission should stick to its promise to remain technologically neutral. It should not rush through such an important piece of legislation, but conduct transparent consultation with all stakeholders.

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