Regulatory framework, research, innovation, smart infrastructure: when it comes to autonomous transport, Europe has to intensify its efforts in order to become the world leader. This is what the European Parliament called for today in its adopted Report on self-driving vehicles.

“The developments around autonomous driving is going very fast. It is therefore important that the EU invests in research and innovation, especially if we want to take the lead in relation to our competitors such as the US, China and Japan”, said Wim van de Camp MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman for Transport and author of the initiative Report.

The Report stresses that the potential of automated vehicles is becoming increasingly apparent in the logistics sector, in public transport and also in other modes of transport. These are not only autonomous vessels in inland waterway transport and short-sea shipping, but also drones transporting goods and automated light rail systems such as in urban public transport.

“It is very important for Europe that there is an internationally-standardised regulatory framework for autonomous driving. This will ensure that the vehicles can communicate intelligently and digitally and are interoperable”, stated Wim van de Camp. “Since the relevant legislation in the US, which is one of the EU’s competitors, is blocked, Europe must seize the opportunity”, he added.

“Furthermore, real-life tests must also take place in order to ensure that these vehicles run independently in the long term and the infrastructure will have to be adapted.”

The Report does not forget to stress that public acceptance of such vehicles needs to be reached. A prudent, yet ambitious deployment and sufficient safeguards will play a key role. “I believe it is a kind of revolution we can all embrace. I want Europe to be one of the leaders in this revolution”, Van de Camp concluded.