The European Commission is being accused of delaying driverless car technology from getting onto the continent’s streets because of “in-house divisions”.
The EurActiv.com website reports on a meeting in Brussels this week quoting Erik Jonnaert, secretary general of the European car industry lobby group ACEA and saying “we see too many cooks in the kitchen.”
It says he complained that, “on this subject one could ask the question, ‘Who do I call within the Commission?’ and at the moment there are different people to call.”
The site says Jonnaert shared a panel on connected vehicles with high-ranking Commission officials from three different directorate generals ? DG Move (transport), DG Grow (single market) and DG Connect (digital). The three departments are all doing legwork for potential new legislation on driverless and connected cars.
It adds that a group of car manufacturers, consumer groups and government officials started meeting this January to come up with guidelines for new EU rules on driverless cars, hosted by DG Move. But the car industry warns that piecemeal regulation of specific issues will not be enough to help European companies produce driverless cars quickly.
“We have a tendency in Europe that when we have safety issues in mobility we adopt a safety directive and when we have emissions issues we adopt an emissions directive,” it quotes Jonnaert as saying. “Is this not the golden opportunity we’ve all been waiting for to come up with a new horizontal regulatory approach?”