CAD: Europe Must Take The Lead, MEP says
European People’s Party’s (EPP) Wim van de Camp, who is the EPP Group’s Spokesman for Transport, believes that Europe should be the leading actor in CAD related matters. Indeed, in his report on autonomous driving for European transport, which MEPs voted on 15 January 2019, he states that it is important ‘to continue and intensify at all levels the related efforts: regarding the regulatory framework, research and innovation, real-life testing and deployment of vehicles and road and communication infrastructure.’ He added that ‘it is key for Europe to stay at the forefront of this field, in order to reap the benefits of automated road transport and to successfully compete with the enormous thrust of efforts elsewhere in the US, China or Japan.’ 585 MEPs voted in favor and 85 against the resolution with 26 abstentions.
Furthermore, the report highlights the importance of CAD for the European logistics and public transport sector by underlining the potential impact of autonomous vessels, drones and automated light rail systems. Wim van de Camp adds that Europe has to ‘seize its opportunity’ now as legislation promoting CAD on US roads is currently blocked.
Last but not least, the report underlines two important aspects of CAD. First of all, it ‘stresses the need for real-life testing sites across the EU in order to thoroughly test and develop new technologies‘. This can be done by urging ‘each of the Member States to designate, by 2020, urban and extra-urban areas where autonomous research vehicles can be tested in real-life traffic conditions.’ Secondly, the report highlights the need for public acceptance among Europeans before deploying autonomous vehicles.