Self-driving cars can offer numerous advantages, not least in terms of safety. Around 95% of all road traffic accidents in the EU are completely or partly caused by human error that automated vehicles could help avoid. New digital technologies can also reduce traffic congestion, offer new mobility options to elderly or disabled people and decrease greenhouse gases and air pollutants. At the same time, many challenges remain. Who is, for example, accountable when a driverless car is involved in an accident? What measures need to be taken to guarantee cybersecurity and protect self-driving vehicles against cyberattacks? Significant investment in research and innovation is also necessary to further develop technologies and associated infrastructure.
The EU is now working on developing common rules and adopting the policies, legislation and standards necessary to ensure a smooth introduction of automated vehicles on European roads. Other key issues under treatment include rules for data protection and ethics in the automated transport sector and the development of self-driving vehicles accessible for people with reduced mobility or disabilities.
More details are available in the article “Self-driving cars in the EU: from science fiction to reality” and the related infographics published by the European parliament.
Image copyright: European Parliament