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Greater cooperation needed to deliver new car technologies to consumers

Published on: 27 Novemver 2013

On 27 November 2013, the FIA hosted a high level debate with EU Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas and key stakeholders to debate the future challenges of advanced vehicle technologies in Brussels. The event brought together a diverse and extensive list of notable speakers to discuss how to make ‘5-star drivers, in 5-star vehicles, on 5-star roads’ a reality. Much of the discussion surrounded the “connected” car and its potential to provide drivers with access to extensive information about congestion, accidents, road conditions, road works, weather changes and upcoming hazards. This technology also enables vehicles to communicate with each other and with the infrastructure to provide warnings, such as unsafe lane departure or risk of collision.


 EU Commissioner Siim Kallas delivering his keynote speech.


“The connected car offers the potential to save thousands of lives as a result of advanced safety features which better protect drivers, passengers and pedestrians. By integrating intelligent cars with intelligent infrastructure we can offer the driver information, choices and warnings in real time, which would not otherwise be available,” said Jean Todt, FIA President. He continued, “Every time we step into a car, we run the risk of an accident. We need all the help we can get from technology to compensate for human errors.”


 “What we all must remember is that the technology already exists to make the connected car a reality,” said Thierry Willemarck, FIA Region I President.  He continued, “What we need now is unified agreement that this is a system of features and services that road users deserve. I’m hopeful that today was a step in the right direction to delivering this technology to the driving public. With the upcoming elections, it would be highly appreciated to see the EU Parliament take on some of these concerns in its next mandate.”


The event featured a plenary session where speakers approached car connectivity from a variety of perspectives and showed how close the technology is to being a reality, but also revealed potential barriers. The afternoon’s parallel sessions focussed on the vehicle, the driver and infrastructure. These are three specific areas where collaboration and focus is essential to realise safer mobility through the connected vehicle. Highlighting themes and conclusions of the day, the event closed with great potential for joint actions on this topic in the future.


“As the connected car becomes a reality, there will be more and more services offered to drivers. Which is why consumer protection and fair competition must be part of the discussion from the beginning,” said Jacob Bangsgaard, FIA Region I Director General. He continued, “It is essential that multiple service providers receive open access to in-vehicle telematics platforms so that drivers can have free choice of applications and services with the knowledge of what information is being shared.”


Coinciding with the event,  the FIA, European Road Federation, ACEA, and the IRU, joined EuroRAP and Euro NCAP in calling for a step-up in road maintenance standards by together launching a joint statement for roads to be regularly and properly maintained for greater driver assistance and to optimise safety gains in vehicle technology.




Notes to editors


Full programme and event website


Video Statement by Formula One drivers for the event


Joint statement of the FIA, European Road Federation, ACEA (the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association), EuroRAP and Euro NCAP:  ‘Cars of the Future need "readable" roads now’  (605.9 KB)


The report ‘Roads that Cars Can Read’ (2.7 MB) is published jointly by EuroRAP and EuroNCAP with contributions from the FIA, ERF and ACEA.


Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Region I

FIA Region I represents 108 Touring and Motoring Clubs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa from its Brussels office, which total more than 37 million members. The FIA represents the interest of these members as motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and tourists.

The FIA’s primary goal is to secure a mobility that is safe, affordable, sustainable and efficient. With these aims in mind the work focuses on Road Safety, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, and the promotion of Sustainable Motoring.



Andrea Campbell

Communications Manager, FIA Region I

+32 2 282 0813

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