On Thursday 14 September, the Second High-Level Dialogue on Automated and Connected Driving was hosted in Frankfurt, Germany by the Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Mr Alexander Dobrindt

frankfurt, autonomous cars, connectivity

The meeting, gathering Ministers from EU Member States, European Commissioners and representatives of industry and trade associations, aimed at engaging an exchange of ideas and experiences on technological, legal, and political issues related to automated and connected driving. FIA President Jean Todt participated in the meeting, representing the interest of around 80 million road users. 

The testing of automated vehicles was the first topic of discussion, with a proposal made to extend the tests of automated vehicles outside the TEN-T trans-European transport network and run them on all categories of roads. This proposal would require that the quality of roads be adequate and that governments support road maintenance programmes.

Another important question raised during the meeting was that of data access and use of data. The FIA has issued three key recommendations that have already been presented at EU-level:

  • Drivers should retain ownership of data and give informed consent on its use.
  • Drivers should have the right to choose their preferred service providers and freely consent to data being transmitted by their vehicle.
  • A variety of service providers should have the right to develop safe products and functionalities.

Road safety issues were also discussed. Indeed, while cars today are safer than they have ever been, drivers are more distracted than ever. This explains that traffic fatalities have not decreased as much as could be expected, highlighting the need to educate drivers to adapt their behaviour to the various levels of automation.

“I am convinced that automation is a path which needs to be prepared, guided, and controlled. The FIA and its Member Clubs strongly encourage the rollout of testing of automated vehicles on public roads to get feedback, improve technology, create user acceptance and learn how automated vehicles will successfully and safely interact with all road users“, stated Jean Todt.