The newly constituted EU Committee on Transport and Tourism held its first meeting yesterday in Brussels which included discussion on the state of play on ITS, as well as a presentation by Matthias RUETE, the Commission’s Director-General for Transport.
Anne Jensen (DK), rapporteur for Parliament on the dossier, exposed the problems still facing the implementation of ITS technology in the EU. Should there be binding rules for all Member States or simply an agreed Memorandum of Understanding? Will Member States accept an increase public funding for the projects or will the end-users (i.e. commuters and transporters) have to foot the bill?
One example of a practical problem facing ITS was put forward by Jensen: should data emitters be fitted in cars before or after the necessary roadside transmitters are installed? Such questions illustrate the scope of the task that lies ahead for the proper implementation of ITS. Mathieu Grosch (BE) echoed these concerns but was confident that the Transport Committee would act as “a bridge between theory and reality on the ground” for ITS applications.
With regard to the contentious issue of data protection associated with ITS, Jörg Leichtfried (DE) insisted that EU rules and standards on privacy should be respected. He also stressed that ITS should be a public service and not for the users themselves to pay for.
Referring to studies that show that drivers whose cars are equipped with technology such as ABS tend to be less careful at the wheel, Eva Lichtenberger (AT) told her fellow TRAN members: “what we really need are intelligent drivers, more so than intelligent cars!”