September 18, 2007
European Commission outlines plan for safer, cleaner and smarter cars
Brussels, Belgium – The European Commission (EC) has outlined new plans to accelerate the drive for safer, cleaner and smarter cars, including negotiations with European and Asian automotive industry associations to reach an agreement on offering eCall, an in-vehicle emergency call system, as a standard option in all new cars from 2010. It will also further promote other life-saving technologies, and investigate how technology can help make cars greener and smarter.
“Technology can save lives, improve road transport and protect the environment,” says Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media. “The EU must spread this good news among consumers and continue to put pressure on stakeholders to ensure Europeans benefit from these winning technologies sooner, rather than later. If we are serious about saving lives on European roads, then all 27 Member States should set a deadline to make eCall and electronic stability control standard equipment in all new cars.
“At the same time, we need to clear administrative obstacles to innovations that will make cars safer and cleaner. For example, making sure radio frequencies are available for cooperative driving systems that will cut accidents, reduce congestion and lower CO2 emissions. If fast progress cannot be made voluntarily, I stand ready to intervene.”
Some of the key elements in the program include possible regulatory actions on eCall for 2008, if member states do not sign up; consulting on speeding up electronic stability control availability for middle-class and small cars later this year; a consultation to determine if fitting braking assistance and crash avoidance systems should be obligatory for all cars; and guidelines on incentives for smart car systems by mid-2008, such as tax schemes.