The European Commission outlined on 17 September new plans to accelerate the drive for safer, cleaner and smarter cars. The Commission will start negotiations with European and Asian automotive industry associations later this year to reach an agreement on offering the pan-European in-vehicle emergency call system (eCall) as a standard option in all new cars from 2010. It will also further promote the take-up of other life-saving technologies and investigate how technology can help make cars greener and smarter.

"Technology can save lives, improve road transport and protect the environment. The EU must spread this good news among consumers and continue to put pressure on stakeholders to ensure Europeans benefit from these winning technologies sooner rather than later," said Viviane Reding, the EU's Commissioner for the Information Society and Media. "If we are serious about saving lives on European roads, then all 27 Member States should set a deadline to make eCall and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) standard equipment in all new cars. At the same time we need to clear administrative obstacles to innovations that will make cars safer and cleaner. For example, making sure radio frequencies are available for cooperative driving systems that will cut accidents, reduce congestion and lower CO2 emissions. If fast progress cannot be made voluntarily, I stand ready to intervene."

Jacques Barrot, Commissioner for Transport, said: "In our fight to halve the number of road casualties by 2010, we are taking action on all fronts - safer drivers, safer infrastructure and safer vehicles. With this action on intelligent cars, the Commission is pushing to ensure that cutting edge technology finds its way into our cars as soon as possible where it will help save lives and reduce the environmental impact of transport."

Vice-President Günter Verheugen, Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, added: "We should fully exploit our technologies and knowledge in the benefit of our societies. We have available technologies to better assist drivers and by doing so we will help avoiding human tragedies. Therefore I proposed to introduce mandatory Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for new cars as of 2011 and I am now waiting for the public reaction."

Communication : "Towards Europe-wide Safer, Cleaner and Efficient Mobility : The First Intelligent Car Report" (English - French - German)

iCar website

iCar press corner

eCall video: High quality - Medium quality - YouTube

eSafety website



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