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13/05/2016
Connected-car: progress for the C-ITS telematic platform

                                         

DG MOVE, a Directorate-General of the European Commission, issued last January 21, the final document on the interoperable C-ITS telematic platform.

We're talking about what to date is perhaps the greatest development in the automotive industry in the field of telecommunications, the so-called "connected cars" or "internet-on-wheels",  that is, a field in which large telecommunications companies, car manufacturers and service providers join forces in view of developments which are starting to show large business potential and is therefore a temptation for many.

The C-ITS platform, which should allow an open and indiscriminate access to such services, is one of the hottest topics in the industry, especially after the advent of the automatic emergency call (eCall), mandatory on all vehicles from 2018. This is why the Commission is looking into it, even if, unfortunately, results have been rather disappointing, as can be inferred from the document just issued, and visible at the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/its/doc/c-its-platform-final-report-january-2016.pdf.

Predictably, seeing the complexity of the subject, the conclusions were rather limited, in fact the only real result was a tender notice for a study to define the matter. Fortunately, though, some concepts, relating to a shared server or the OBD+ standard physical interface, are mentioned as guidelines. The study will still have to define the contours of the C-ITS platform standards in what are considered sensitive aspects in addition to free accessibility: from legal ones, to information security, privacy protection, not to mention the flow of information, especially related to business .

The field is vast, complex and the stakes are high; reason why the work of the DG MOVE has been, despite the efforts, so "preliminary". EGEA, together with its partners in AFCAR, has been actively participating in the work through the constant presence of its representatives, especially in the working groups dedicated to data access and vehicle resources, areas in which the whole garage sector advocates the need for a platform truly open and accessible to all, unlike car manufacturers who would prefer access through their own portals such as the so-called Extended Vehicle Concept.

This work, beside the definition of a C-ITS platform in its most technical details, will also “feed” the work planned for the GEAR 2030 of the Industry Commission. The GEAR 2030 Committee, which will be backed up by the Industry Commission as well as all industrial sectors concerned and EU governments, has as its main topic a sustainable automotive industry with all its implications for the sector’s economy, one of the largest in Europe, which can play a major role in the sustainable growth of the whole continent’s economy. It goes without saying that economic interests play a central role in the work of the Committee. We sincerely hope this will not take place at the expense of fair competition: meaning free access to  "connected cars."

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