EU rejects connected cars legislation

Written by Peter Walker
10/04/19

The European Parliament’s transport and tourism committee has rejected proposed legislation on connected cars, amidst a row over the connectivity technologies specified in the initiative.

The European Commission is trying to push through legislation coordinating regulatory frameworks around connected cars across the EU, with a full European Parliament vote scheduled for next week.

The technology and the legislative framework around it is intended to reduce road fatalities, but telecoms operators have pushed back, stating that the proposals favour current Wi-Fi based ITS-G5 connectivity over more cellular approaches.

It comes as operators are investing billions in 5G networks and relying on connected cars to make back some of that money.

Finland and Spain, both of which have major 5G commitments, stated a preference for a level playing field for Wi-Fi and cellular technologies, while on the other side, car manufacturers including Volkswagen stated there’s no need to make legal provisions for cellular-based technology that won’t come into use for years.

If MEPs reject the law, the issue will have to be revisited after European elections in May.

Ahead of the vote, the GSM Association said the proposal would hinder the development of 5G by prioritising the existing 802.11p Wi-Fi standard over the cellular C-V2X standard.

“As C-V2X is a key building block for future 5G networks and as connected cars are one of the most important 5G use cases, this decision to prioritise 802.11p will hinder 5G deployment,” read its statement.

But transport commissioner Violeta Bulc wrote to members of the transport committee to underline the importance of voting for the law, saying the Wi-Fi-based technology discussed in it is available today and that delaying connected car plans would mean more road deaths.

“Every day wasted waiting for the new technology will cost lives,” she commented.