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EU Parliament’s Transport Committee votes down Connected Cars regulation

The Committee raised concerns about lack of technological neutrality.

Background: The European Commission proposed a Regulation, supplementing the existing Directive of 2010 on deployment and operational use of “cooperative intelligent transport Systems” (C-ITS). In practice, this Regulation sets the technology standard for connected cars in the future. In its preparatory works, the Commission had to choose between three policy options: light intervention based on non-legislative measures, including non-binding guidelines on the interoperability of services; moderate intervention based on specifications under the existing Directive; or strong intervention, mandating the support of vehichle-to-vehicle (V2V) Wi-Fi technology, and setting up governance bodies. Eventually, the EC went for the third option.

The challenge: The proposal found the opposition of several member states, and divided the industry. Car makers noted V2V systems would not support cellular technology; as a result, V2V Wi-Fi would become the only option and hamper the potential of 5G use in connected cars. As a ‘delegated regulation’, the proposal cannot be amended; it can either be accepted or rejected as it is, which makes it even more subject to controversy.

The outcome: The Transport Committee of the EU Parliament rejected the Delegated Regulation, mentioning the lack of a “truly technology neutral” approach, and the insufficient time to assess the proposal due to Parliament recess. This is not the final word, as the Plenary could still adopt the text; however, it is a strong indication of the obstacles to its adoption, and can be seen as a win for the telecommunication industry which favours a more open approach.