Europe is about to “pick up the pace” when it comes to getting connected and driverless cars on the road, thanks to a new agreement reached in the Netherlands last week (April 14th).
Dubbed the Declaration of Amsterdam, the deal – which was negotiated by EU transport ministers, the European Commission and the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) – outlines plans to create a safe and competitive marketplace for the vehicles via cooperation between EU rulemakers and the region’s auto industry.
Commenting on the agreement, Erik Jonnaert – secretary general of the ACEA – called connected and driverless cars “an important part of our response to future mobility challenges” like population growth and globalisation, safety concerns, and calls to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment.
“But even though this revolution is shaping our industry at a rapid pace, there are many challenges on the road ahead,” he said, describing cooperation with rulemakers as “much-needed”.
Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Dutch minister of infrastructure and the environment, added: “Today for the first time, we have talked at the European political level about self-driving vehicles and the measures required for their smooth introduction in Europe.
“We want to pick up the pace because there are many gains to be made for mobility. Connected and automated vehicles will make our roads safer, more sustainable and more efficient.”
The news comes not long after the UK government announced a significant push on the driverless car front, outlining plans to trial the technology on motorways before the end of 2017.
Part of Highways England’s new innovation strategy, the pilot will be used to determine how automated vehicles impact the performance and safety of the country’s road network.