Law changes put connected cars on the fast lane

Published by Telefónica IoT Team Smart Mobility

Europe is spearheading legislation changes that are meant to push forward the deployment of m2m related technologies in transport (connected car, fleet management, insurance telematics, etc.).

The European Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe which establishes a detailed plan to deploy the necessary technology changes throughout the Union to ensure a connected continent deeply impact in a positive way the deployment of the necessary changes needed to boost connected mobile technologies.

These changes include:

  • More coordination of spectrum used in communications allowing technology related devices to move seamlessly through different countries
  • Wider 4G expansion
  • Promoting legal changes to allow and benefit insurance telematics creating new Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) models
  • Standardising eCall, an emergency call button for road accidents made mandatory in Europe for all new vehicles starting in 2015

When the concept of Connected Car became mainstream after 2012, automotive manufacturers, fleet management companies and insurance companies clearly agreed on where the improvement areas from the legislation point needed to be focused. The European Union was fast to adopt these regulation changes to allow the Connected Car and other smart transport solutions to reach the market successfully.

The benefits of the Connected Car are so obvious it is no longer a matter of ‘if’, but a matter of ‘when’. The legislation regulations are geared to boost the expansion of m2m presence in connected vehicles.

Self-Driving vehicles also receiving a boost

The concept of self-driving vehicles seem the natural evolution to the connected car. Autonomous cars have been around for decades but only recently have we seen fully-featured models that are making the idea of a working and ubiquitous self-driving connected car come true.

ABI Research is more than optimistic and expects them to be a reality by 2020 with 10 million units being sold per year (growing hand in hand with connected car sales that the firm believes will grow at a 20 million sold units per year by the same year).

Self-driving cars are actually ‘connected cars with superpowers’ to put it simply. State-of-the-art technology allows users to sit back and relax no matter whether the landscape the passengers see is the city on a busy Monday morning or a narrow mountain road.

Some countries are decidedly taking steps in advancing the roll-out of truly useful autonomous cars. 4 states of the United States have granted permission to allow self-driving vehicles on their roads and in their cities.

Whether self-driving cars are to have a licensed driver as backup or these vehicles can serve transportation purposes for all kinds of users whether they are enabled or not to drive remains yet unanswered.

In United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) established the first legislation on these cars with five levels of autonomy (levels 0-4) that go from a driver in control of the vehicle at all times to level 4 where the vehicle performs all safety-critical functions for the entire trip including parking.

Safety is a determining factor for green-lighting self-driving cars. The accident balance is insignificant so far. United Kingdom and Singapore are also allowing these vehicles on their roads for testing purposes where only private facilities were allowed before.

Telefónica IoT Team