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29 European countries, Members of the European Union and of the European Economic Area, have signed a Letter of Intent to intensify cooperation on testing of automated road transport in cross border test sites. This initiative drives forward the plans of the Commission’s strategy to build a European Data Economy announced in January 2017.

Creating cross border pilots and jointly addressing data transmission and liability will give the EU automotive, tech and telecoms industries the advantage of a harmonised and unified market of 500 million consumers. It will also help the automotive industry maintain its global lead in the area of connected and automated cars.

At the end of last year, the automotive and telecom industries have joined forces in the European Alliance of Telecoms and Automotive to develop intelligent cross-border testing of what connectivity and automation offer for road transport in real traffic conditions.

Member States and industry now need to collaborate to realise the EU’s ambitious vision for cooperative, connected and automated mobility in a Digital Single Market. Member States, supported by the Commission, will identify actions to be undertaken in the next months on the testing and large scale demonstration of connected and automated mobility (CAM).

Welcoming the signature, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, and Günther H. Oettinger , Commissioner for Human Resources and Budget, both said: “Mobility has to work across borders. Almost all Member States agreed to work together on tests on the ground. It is a great success. Cooperation will focus on interoperability, data access and liability, as well as future 5G connectivity. The European Commission will facilitate this process and will continue to work with all Member States and interested parties on this matter “.

As a result of today’s signature Member States will work together on cross-border sections, itineraries or corridors to conduct and facilitate research, tests and large scale demonstrations notably on road safety, data access, data quality and liability, connectivity and on digital technologies for CAM. They will also support the availability of the necessary radio spectrum resources for cooperative, connected and automated mobility and appoint contact persons for other member states and the Commission to work with. As a first step, the Commission will initiate an inventory of all cross border activities and related policies between member states.

Earlier this year, France and Germany agreed to build a cross-border corridor between the two neighbouring regions of Lorraine and Saarland to test connected and automated driving. This is a first step to be expanded and followed by other Member States and regions. The Commission is also working with Member States to link different test-sections, to enable cross-border testing and align them with the existing TEN-T corridors. The cross-border dimension is of paramount importance to ensure interoperability all over Europe and avoid having vehicles stopped when they reach a border.

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