Making European roads safer

Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) improve the ease of driving

Clean, connected and automated mobility on EU roads

The European Commission has adopted new rules stepping up the deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems on Europe’s roads.

But, what are Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems?

Imagine you are driving in your car and  your car can talk to other vehicles ahead and they could inform you about any upcoming hazards? Or if your car could communicate with the traffic lights, know when they’ll be green and time its run to avoid stopping? 

The new technology will allow vehicles to ‘talk’ to each other, to the road infrastructure, and to other road users – for instance about dangerous situations, road works and the timing of traffic lights, making road transport safer, cleaner and more efficient. The benefits of having vehicles and infrastructure share data are many, and offer huge potential for improving traffic safety, reducing congestion, reducing fuel consumption and improving the overall comfort.

The adoption is an important stage in enabling communication among vehicles. As of this year, vehicles, traffic signs and motorways will be equipped with technology to send standardised messages to all traffic participants around them. The specifications establish the minimal legal requirements for interoperability between the different cooperative systems used. Interoperability will enable all equipped stations to exchange messages with any other station securely in an open network. The cooperative element – enabled by digital connectivity between vehicles, and between vehicles and the transport infrastructure – is expected to significantly improve road safety, traffic efficiency and comfort when driving, by helping the driver to make the right decisions and adapt to the traffic situation.

The new rules are in line with the proposals on clean mobility introduced by the Commission, are a further step for modernising the European mobility sector, preparing it for climate neutrality in the second half of the century and contributing to the EU’s long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 (“Vision Zero”).

security traffic

So when is this likely to happen?

The communication within a C-ITS system consists of  sending and receiving messages via WiFi. The system uses the same cameras and sensors that are already equipped in most new vehicles today. This means the technology  is there.  It is relatively mature and for the most part ready today. We just need to further develop it.

There is common consensus that Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems are going to be introduced in three phases.

  • In the first phase systems are only going to deliver warnings. For example, if a car or a truck experiences a slow-moving vehicle ahead, a traffic jam or maybe just works on the road, this car will send the message to all other vehicles heading in its direction.
  • The next phase is sensory, where vehicles will read traffic situations and alert the driver if an action needs to be taken.
  • The third phase will strengthen cooperation. It will involve features such as CACC (Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control) which will  allow vehicles to “cooperate” by communicating with each other while in the adaptive cruise control mode.

The result is that braking and accelerating will be done cooperatively and synchronously and vehicles can drive more accurately, and safely. If you want to find out more about what other changes are making Europe roads saver, visit us on and enjoy learning.

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