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Europe on the Move agenda for safe, clean and connected mobility

17 May 2018
by eub2 -- last modified 17 May 2018

The European Commission has set out measures to modernise Europe's transport system, aiming for safer traffic, less polluting vehicles and more advanced technological solutions.


1. Overview & expected benefits

Why is the Commission proposing these new initiatives?

Transport plays a central role in our daily lives and the EU's economy. The sector employs more than 11 million Europeans and represents 5% of the EU's GDP. At the same time, it needs to modernise to tackle challenges such as CO2 emissions (transport accounts for a quarter of all EU emissions), air pollution (linked to 400,000 premature deaths every year) and road accidents (25,300 fatalities in 2017). Transport also needs to stay ahead of the curve with new technologies and business models.

Since 2014, this Commission has therefore taken an unprecedented number of actions to help prepare for the mobility of tomorrow. The objective is to protect Europeans against traffic accidents, poor air quality and climate change, empower them with new mobility solutions that match their changing needs, and defend the competitiveness of European industry. Today's initiatives aim to complete this positive agenda and ensure a smooth transition towards a mobility system which is Safe, Clean and Connected & Automated.

What is the Commission proposing today?

This third Mobility Package consists of:

  • A Communication outlining a new road safety policy framework for 2021-2030. It is accompanied by two legislative initiatives on vehicle and pedestrian safety (update of General Safety Regulation) and on infrastructure safety management;
  • A dedicated Communication on Connected and Automated Mobility to make Europe a world leader for autonomous and safe mobility systems;
  • Legislative initiatives on CO2 standards for heavy duty vehicles such as trucks, on their aerodynamic performance, on tyre labelling and on a common methodology for fuels price comparison. These are accompanied by a Strategic Action Plan for Batteries. Those measures reaffirm the EU's objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport.
  • Two legislative initiatives establishing a digital environment for information exchange in transport.
  • A legislative initiative to streamline permitting procedures for the implementation of projects in the core trans-European transport network (TEN-T).

The full list of initiatives is available here. They are supported by a call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility with €450 million available to support projects in the Member States contributing to road safety, digitisation and multimodality. It is available here and will be open until 24 October 2018.

I am a citizen, how am I concerned by the new initiatives?

The Commission's proposals will make travelling on Europe's roads safer for everyone. Within three years all new vehicle models introduced on the market will be required to have the latest advanced safety technology, such as emergency braking and lane-keeping system. The risks posed by unsafe road infrastructure will also be systematically addressed, including the risks to vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians. Moving towards connected and automated mobility will contribute to social inclusion by offering new options for those who cannot drive themselves (e.g. elderly or disabled people) and/or are under-served by public transport.

Our proposals will also lead to savings for consumers. Thanks to improved tyre labelling, for example, European households will for example be able to save up to €125 per car and per year by using the most efficient tyres to reduce fuel costs.

I am a transport or logistics company, how will I benefit from the initiatives?

Most transport companies are small and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs). With our proposals, we want to make it easier for them to save money on fuel by investing in the most efficient trucks. By adding about €1,800 to the purchase price of a truck, transport companies – mostly SMEs - will be able to save more than €25,000 over 5 years thanks to lower fuel consumption.

Transport and logistics companies will also profit from substantially less administrative burden and costs thanks to our initiatives establishing a fully digital environment for information exchanges between transport operators and authorities.

I work in the automotive sector, how will this impact my situation?

Our proposals aim to ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of technological innovations in mobility, particularly vehicle automation, connectivity and batteries development. EU manufacturers and suppliers will strengthen their global technological and innovative leadership position. This will keep jobs in the EU and create new opportunities. The Commission will support the acquisition of new skills and assess options to manage the social transition to automation in the road sector.

How will EU Member States and public authorities benefit from the initiatives?

The Commission's proposals will help Member States in their efforts to improve road safety, and in particular those with poorer road safety performance to catch up to better performers. Member States will benefit from improved EU funding support under the Connecting Europe Facility and key infrastructure projects on the TEN-T network will be implemented quicker and with lower costs, thanks to simplified and streamlined permitting and authorisation procedures (click here for more information).

In addition, our proposals will facilitate cooperation and exchange of best practices between national authorities in areas like connected and automated mobility and batteries. Our proposals will also increase the efficiency of national administrations by streamlining reporting formalities for freight operations.

2. Key elements of the Commission's proposals


Why is the Commission proposing new initiatives for road safety?

25,300 people lost their lives on EU roads in 2017 and another 135,000 people were seriously injured. As a result, reaching the EU objective of halving road fatalities between 2010 and 2020 is now very challenging. Beside the victims, road accidents affect the society as a whole, with an estimated socio-economic cost of €120 billion a year. All this calls for fresh efforts from all actors to make European roads safer. While national and local authorities deliver most of the day-to-day actions, the Commission is today proposing a number of measures with strong EU added-value.

How does the Commission intend to improve road safety in Europe?

The Commission is today proposing a policy framework for the period 2021-2030 to respond to new challenges in road safety. It confirms the EU's long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 ("Vision Zero"), with an interim target of minus 50% between 2020 and 2030. It is based on the Safe System approach, aiming for a more "forgiving" road system, designed to protect people from death and serious injury. As part of this, it introduces key performance indicators and closer cooperation between all road safety actors.

It is accompanied by two legislative initiatives (General Safety Regulation and Infrastructure Safety Management Directive) a forward-looking Communication on automated mobility (see section 2c), and an action plan identifying possible follow-up measures for the months and years to come.

What is the Commission proposing to make vehicles safer?

Certain cars are already fitted with advanced safety features. There are also differences between EU countries. Today the Commission is proposing a revision of the General Safety Regulation to ensure that all Europeans benefit from the latest developments in technology.

The Commission is proposing that within 3 years all new models introduced on the market must have 11 advanced safety features, such as advanced emergency braking, lane-keeping system, over-ridable intelligent speed assistance or driver's distraction recognition. A further 4 measures will follow a few years later (see full list here). Such features offer significant potential to compensate for human errors, a major factor in most road accidents. In addition, the current gaps in the legislation, essentially exempting certain SUVs and vans from mandatory crash tests, will be lifted to make sure that there is no differentiation between certain vehicle categories. It is expected that these measures will save 7,300 lives and avoid 38,900 serious injuries over the period 2020-2030.

Will the Commission's proposal make new vehicles more expensive to buy?

According to the Commission's analysis, the proposal would have little or no impact on the price of new vehicles. On the contrary, lives saved and injuries avoided would lead to societal benefits estimated at €73 billion.

What is the Commission proposing with regards to infrastructure?

Reviewed EU rules on infrastructure safety management will better protect vulnerable road users like cyclists and motorcyclists, introduce a new proactive approach to safety assessment and extend safety management principles to all primary roads. This is expected to save another 3,200 lives and avoid an additional 20,700 serious injuries over 2020-2030.


What is the European Commission doing to promote cleaner trucks?

For the first time ever, the Commission is proposing the regulation of CO2 emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), which cover trucks, buses and coaches. This is an important addition to the legislative framework to address greenhouse gas emissions from road transport. It follows the proposal for CO2 emissions from cars and vans, adopted in November 2017 as part of the Second Mobility Package.

As a first step, CO2 emission standards are proposed for large trucks, which account for around 65-70% of all CO2 emissions from HDVs. In 2025, average CO2 emissions from new trucks registered in the EU will have to be 15% lower than in 2019. For 2030, an indicative reduction target of at least 30% compared to 2019 is proposed.

As a second step, as part of an early review in 2022, the scope of these standards will be extended to other types of HDVs such as smaller trucks, buses, coaches and trailers. During this review, the Commission will also make a proposal to determine the target for 2030.

Furthermore, the Commission is today proposing to improve the aerodynamic performance of trucks, which has a direct impact on CO2 emissions. Finally, new energy labels for tyres will drive energy savings as tyres account for 5-10 % of the fuel consumption of vehicles.

You are proposing a target of at least 30% in 2030. Why?

The target is the result of a robust and thorough impact assessment and is consistent with the EU's commitments under the Paris Agreement to reduce economic-wide at least 40% CO2 emissions by 2030. The target of at least 30% provides benefits for the environment, transport operators and consumers:

  • It will save an estimated 54 million tonnes of CO2 from 2020 to 2030, equivalent to the total annual emissions of Sweden. It will help EU Member States meet their 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for sectors outside the EU emissions trading system including transport and will also improve air quality.
  • It will bring significant savings for transport operators in the EU – which are mainly SMEs – and their clients. Transport companies will be able to save more than €25.000 over 5 years thanks to lower fuel consumption.
  • Overall, the proposal is expected to have a positive impact on employment, creating up to 25,000 jobs in 2025, in particular in the transport and construction sectors. The proposal will help the EU automotive industry maintain its global technological and innovative leadership and its access to markets worldwide.

How does the Commission intend to make trucks more aerodynamic?

The Commission is proposing to bring forward the date (by three years to 2019), when manufacturers put on the market new heavy goods vehicles with more rounded and aerodynamic cabins. Besides CO2 reductions, this will improve road safety and the visibility and comfort of drivers.

What is the Action Plan for Batteries that is presented today?

Currently, the EU has no capability to develop and mass produce battery cells – the most expensive item of an electric car. Following up on the EU Batteries Alliance launched in October 2017, the Battery Action Plan sets out a number of EU measures which can help Member States, regions and European industry establish competitive, innovative and sustainable battery manufacturing projects in the EU. These measures include support for:

  • Investment in research and innovation for electro-mobility and stationary applications including the use of EU financing mechanisms;
  • Securing access to raw materials and to reduce dependency on critical raw materials;
  • Developing the necessary skills for the new manufacturing processes and emerging technologies;
  • Putting in place a supportive EU regulatory framework including the reinforcement of the collection and recycling schemes in the Batteries Directive.

Why is the Commission proposing new labelling for tyres?

Revised energy labels for tyres strengthen the requirements on fuel efficiency, noise and safety, and will apply to all tyres: cars, vans or heavy-duty vehicles. Once they come into force, consumers will have more information to choose efficient and safe tyres.

The new labelling will be beneficial for the environment by increasing fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It will lead to CO2 savings equivalent of removing almost 4 million passenger cars from EU roads per year by 2030. It will also be beneficial for consumers: a household could save up to €125 per car and per year using tyres with class A label instead of class F.


What is the Commission doing to prepare for driverless vehicles?

The Commission is proposing a strategy aiming to make Europe a world leader for fully automated and connected mobility systems. The strategy is based on a new level of cooperation between road users, which could potentially bring enormous benefits for users, industry and for the mobility system as a whole. Transport will be safer, cleaner, cheaper and more accessible to the elderly and to people with reduced mobility.

Drivers can already experience the benefits of partially automated driving with driver assistance systems such as automated cruise control or automated braking. In the next years automated vehicles that can first manage only certain, and later increasingly complex traffic situations without the supervision of a human driver will progressively become available. Examples include driverless public transport, valet parking, garbage trucks and truck platooning. Today the Commission Communication delivers an ambitious agenda to prepare the ground for an optimal roll-out of these technologies via:

  • Financial support. For 2014-2020, a total budget of around €300 million from the EU's framework programme for research and innovation "Horizon 2020" has been allocated to support research and innovation on automated vehicles. Calls are foreseen for the years 2018-2020 with a total budget of €103 million. They will mainly serve for large scale demonstration pilots. Moreover, the Commission will offer support in 2018 for testing the use of 5G connectivity to enable highly automated driving functions and new mobility services with a budget totalling €50 million. Moreover, additional funds of up to €450 million are made available today under the Connecting Europe Facility to foster the digitalisation of transport. Looking ahead, a new partnership will be established under the next multiannual financial framework to ensure a fully coordinated approach towards research and pre-deployment, involving industry, Member States and the Commission.
  • An apt legal framework. The Communication proposes a way forward for internal market issues (such as cybersecurity, secured, interoperable and trustful communications between vehicles and infrastructure, data protection and access to data) to avoid market fragmentation. The type-approval framework was just recently reformed, the General Safety Regulation updated and the EU legal framework for liability evaluated to be fit for these technologies.
  • Consideration of ethical and societal aspects. The Commission will assess the medium and long term socio-economic and environmental impacts of connected and automated driving, support the reskilling of the workforce and create an EU forum on ethics to address issues related to driverless mobility.

What is the Commission doing for the digitalisation of freight transport?

The Commission is today proposing to require national authorities to accept information presented electronically by transport companies, provided it complies with requirements ensuring authenticity, integrity, security, etc. It is estimated that the sector will save 39 million staff working hours, or the equivalent of €3.1 billion, annually. Today, less than 1% of all cross-border freight transport operations in the EU are carried out without any paper documentation. In addition, the Commission is also proposing to simplify the reporting formalities in the maritime sector. Shipping operators spend 4.7 million staff hours every year on burdensome reporting. Harmonising and streamlining the formalities at EU level could halve this.

More information on these two proposals can be found here.

Factsheet: Shaping the future of Mobility

Factsheet: Safe Mobility – A Europe that protects

Factsheet: Clean Mobility – Implementing the Paris Agreement

Factsheet: Connected & Automated Mobility – For a competitive Europe

List of Proposals

Source: European Commission