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European Parliament Event 18 June
Paving the way towards the vote eSafety Support organised an information event in Strasbourg
Mr André Vits, Mr Hermann Meyer, Mrs Zita Gurmai, MEP, Mr Brian Simpson, MEP, Mr Malcolm Harbour, MEP(from left to right)
MEP Zita Gurmai's report on the European Commission's Intelligent Car Communication “Towards Europe-wide .Safer, Cleaner and Efficient Mobility” has been discussed and voted on by the Plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 19 June. The report was adopted by a very a large majority. Out of 428 Members of the Assembly, 417 voted in favour, five abstained and 6 voted against. On the eve of the vote, an information event was organised by eSafety Support on the Parliament's premises, to raise awareness of the Intelligent Car Initiative and stimulate discussions among European decision makers.
eSafety Support, the European Commission funded project supporting the eSafety initiative, manned a stand to present the latest, ICT-based safety technologies applied to cars and the latest promotional items developed. The reception attracted around 90 interested politicians, officials and other stakeholders, who listened carefully to the speeches of the following distinguished speakers: MEP Brian Simpson, MEP Malcolm Harbour, Hermann Meyer, CEO of ERTICO-ITS Europe and André Vits, Head of Unit "ICT for Transport" at the European Commission.
The keynote speaker of this event was of course Mrs Zita Gurmai, the socialist rapporteur on “The First Intelligent Car Report”. Her dynamism and her real passion for the subject were obvious during the whole evening.
Mr André Vits, Mrs Zita Gurmai and Mr Hermann Meyer The crowd listening to the speeches
Mrs. Gurmai warmly thanked all the key people who had helped her move the dossier further. She presented the progresses made through her report and the next steps forward, and stated: “Our most important task and responsibility is saving lives and to set out a strategy for safer, cleaner and more efficient mobility in the EU.” Mrs. Gurmai went on to highlight the benefits of eSafety systems: “The intelligent car could save up to 6500 lives every year in Europe.”She also to pointed out that these systems would help reduce congestion and alleviate environmental problems.
Mr Hermann Meyer, CEO of ERTICO-ITS Europe, the multi-sector partnership pursuing the development and deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), stressed the importance to move from research to deployment of eSafety systems: “There is a need for an EU legislative framework in which creativity to develop Intelligent Transport Systems can thrive and deployment is fast and effective”. He underlined that other modes of transport could also benefit from ICT: “Intelligent Transport Systems can achieve cooperative, co-modal mobility, saving lives and protecting the environment”.
Mr André Vits, Mr Hermann Meyer, Mr Brian Simpson, The Interactive Car Media tool was displayed on a big
Mrs Zita Gurmai, Mr Malcolm Harbour screen, videos explaining the functioning of the different
systems were shown to the attendees.
MEP Malcolm Harbour, Member of the Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, and MEP Brian Simpson, Member of the Transport and Tourism Committee, congratulated the industry for the steps taken towards eSafety and highlighted the fact that it will take some time to see the fruits of all these efforts. “But these steps are worthwhile”, Mr Simpson said, “especially since technology can help us reduce CO2 emissions”. Both MEPs stressed the importance to see the missing Member States sign the eCall Memorandum of Understanding, especially the country they both come from: The United Kingdom.
The European Commission, Initiator of the Intelligent Car Communication, was represented by Mr. André Vits, Head of the 'ICT for Transport' unit within Directorate-General 'Information Society and Media'. He very much welcomed this political achievement and expressed his great appreciation for Mrs Gurmai’s efforts in raising awareness and promoting this important initiative to deploy more intelligent technologies in cars. Mr Vits summarized the achievements made in only 18 months, ranging from the contributions of the eSafety Working Groups, the showcase in Versailles focusing on new in-car applications, and all the different awareness-raising activities. He concluded his speech with the following statement: “With the adoption of Mrs Gurmai’s report, I hope that the interest of the EP will be even more sharpened. The Commission services are more than willing to keep you informed about the progresses made in the dossier, and also the difficulties we are faced with”.
The key eSafety issues brought forward in the Commission’s Intelligent Car Communication of 17 September 2007 (COM(2007) 541 final) are the deployment of the pan-European emergency call system eCall by 2010 and an accelerated introduction of Electronic Stability Control (ESC), in order to aim at 100% availability of ESC by 2012. The report also urges stakeholders to work towards improving awareness and affordability of intelligent vehicle systems, and to improve the safe use and fixing of nomadic devices. On the environmental side, the report calls for the development of a methodology for measuring the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on reducing CO2 emissions.
Welcome address, Mrs Zita Gurmai
Report from the Transport and Tourism Committee .pdf
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eSafety Support is a European Commission funded project coordinated by ERTICO - ITS Europe