Self driving vehicles could be appearing on our roads over the coming years, according to a European report. However Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has called for action on regulation to be put in place for these vehicles. This comes as the European Parliament adopted its Report on self-driving vehicles.
MEP Deirdre Clune said: “I spoke in the Parliament recently regarding safety and liability rules for driverless cars. Several countries around the world are moving rapidly towards making both connected and automated mobility available on the market and the EU needs to respond much faster to the developments in the sector.”
The Parliament concluded that Europe has to intensify its efforts when it comes to regulatory framework, research, innovation, smart infrastructure in order to become the world leader in the digital vehicle space.
MEP Clune said: “Profound changes could be coming down the track when it comes to our cars and other vehicles. We need to make sure we are ready for these changes when cars especially become more digital. There are many ways in which digitally enhanced vehicles can be beneficial such as increasing traffic flows and reducing the environmental impacts of transport. However there is still a lot of uncertainty in this area and I believe we need to get proper regulation in place before any driverless cars are on our roads.”
Reports say passenger cars with automated driving functions beyond the current level 3 are bound to enter European road transport very soon from 2020 on and technologies will further advance and extend to all types of road transport, including utility vehicles and trucks.
“With this in mind it is vital that we continue efforts to ensure there are proper regulatory frameworks in place and the roads are safe for users. One issue that should be considered is who is responsible in the case of an accident,” added MEP Clune.
Wim van de Camp MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman for Transport and author of the initiative Report said: “The developments around autonomous driving are 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.”
Mr Van de Camp said 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.