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News :: Driving safely when using in-vehicle ICT systems

Driving safely when using in-vehicle ICT systems

(07/02/2007) The European Commission has updated the Recommendation on human/machine interfaces in vehicles. This update responds to the increased presence of portable devices in cars (for example mobile telephones, PDAs, laptops etc). While still allowing competition to continue between manufacturers, the text aims at making the design and the installation of these systems safer. It also underlines the responsibility of each actor concerned, from designers to consumers as well as car manufacturers, rental agencies and fleet managers.

Information and communication systems are increasingly present in our vehicles. The choice grows everyday with many different GPS, navigational and traffic information systems available. While these are useful most of the time, there can be dangers involved. Whilst the European Commission encourages the development of such innovations, it recommends all involved to put the safety of the driver first.

The Commission has therefore revised its 1999 Recommendation on human/machine interfaces for vehicles. The new Recommendation published today covers a series of principles for the design, installation and the use of information and communication systems. These address all actors concerned: car and portable device manufacturers, designers and distributors of these products, fleet managers and rental agencies. To minimize risks, especially non-intentional distraction, drivers must be made fully aware of the use of the system intended by the manufacturer. The new Recommendation also stresses the responsibility of the driver should the system be used beyond the manufacturer's intentions.

The Commission encourages Member States to respect and to promote these principles which apply to both in-vehicle systems and portable devices. The revised Recommendation follows a broad consultation amongst automobile industry professionals and public institutes of research and is part of the "i2010 intelligent vehicle" and "eSafety" initiatives launched by Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media.

Text of Commission Recommendation (.pdf format)

eSafety website

eSafety Support website