15 April, 2019

Joint Industry Statement On Protecting And Supporting Connected And Automated Driving Made in EU

Brussels, 15 April 2019 – The European Parliament and the Council are currently debating a Delegated Regulation on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS). The European Parliament Transport committee has this week called to halt the approval of this delegated act. We agree.

ETNO, GSMA, the GSA and 5GAA – bringing together the global and European leaders in ICT and automotive – would like to express their highest concern as to the content of this Delegated Regulation. We believe it will downsize safety gains, negatively impact the competitiveness of our automotive sector and the development of 5G technology in Europe. For this reason, we call the European Parliament and the Council to reject the Delegated Regulation in its current form and ensure a revised, tech-neutral and growth-friendly text is put to vote instead, as soon as possible.

Europe risks to be stuck in the slow lane

With technology moving fast, we believe it is of essence that all new rules are future-proof, innovation-oriented in order to maximize C-ITS safety benefits. Currently, the Delegated Regulation fails this test, as it mandates the old Wi-Fi standard 802.11p and it excludes other mature technologies, such as Cellular-Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X), based today on LTE and tomorrow on 5G.

In doing so, it also effectively harms the development of 5G technology in the EU, despite rising global market competition, and it directly contradicts the goals set out in the European Commission “5G Action Plan” and “Digital Single Market Strategy”. Moreover, a technology mandate is a critical political decision, which should remain a sole competence of co-legislators instead of imposing it by a non-legislative act.
Cellular technology is crucial to citizens’ safety
C-V2X is a game-changer for safety. It enables both long-range communications via mobile networks and direct short-range connectivity for time-critical information – without subscription or network coverage. C-V2X offers a unique capability to make vulnerable road users safer by being integrated into smartphones but also holds the potential to connect older cars. Very simply put: cellular technologies can protect pedestrians and cyclists carrying a phone, while Wi-Fi technology is not suitable for this use.
5G technology is tested and it boosts the Single Market
The ConVeX Consortium (gathering global technology leaders such as Audi, Ericsson and Qualcomm) have recently demonstrated that mobile-based technology is ready and it is tested across European borders. This is of essence to ensure a functioning and harmonised European Single Market, as some Member States have already declared they do not have the resources – or do not intend – to deploy Wi-Fi-based solutions. This would create fragmentation where 5G could create harmonisation across EU markets.
Backwards compatibility just does not work
Some voices in the debate claimed that a clause in the Delegated Act would allow for a later revision, hence ensuring backwards compatibility of C-V2X with the mandated Wi-Fi 802.11p technology. Engineers and experts explain that Wi-Fi-based and 5G-based solutions are entirely different technologies using radio waves incompatibly. “Backwards compatibility” would be like expecting a DVD to work in VHS player. This means that unless the Delegated Regulation is made technology-neutral to allow also 5G-based technologies, it will de facto be locked out: European citizens will be relegated to an inferior technology that only a very limited amount of car manufacturers are planning to deploy, while other world regions have already taken steps towards C-V2X deployment.

About Our Associations
ETNO, European Telecommunication Network Operators’ Association – www.etno.eu 
GSA, Global mobile Suppliers Association – www.gsacom.com 
GSMA, Representing the interests of mobile operators and the broader mobile ecosystem worldwide – www.gsma.com 
5GAA, 5G Automotive Association – www.5gaa.org 

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