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eSafety Forum High Level Meeting, 27 September 2004
The meeting focused on three priority areas within eSafety: in-vehicle emergency call (eCall), real-time traffic and travel information (RTTI) and human machine interaction (HMI). Participants discussed the best way forward for these technology areas on the basis of recommendations proposed by three working groups.
In their general conclusions, Member States expressed a common belief that the eSafety initiative is crucially important for improving road safety in Europe, and committed to further increasing their efforts in this area. They proposed to enhance their various national eSafety action plans with clear goals and milestones in order to support their implementation.
With regard to the in-vehicle emergency call, Member States support the proposed general architecture for the implementation of eCall. They asked the Commission to both continue with its analysis of the socio-economic benefits and produce reliable cost figures. Representatives from ten Member States gave their support to a Memorandum of Understanding on eCall, saying they would follow Finland's example and sign it on completion of their internal processes.
In order to ensure that the necessary infrastructure to begin a pan-European eCall service is in place by 2006, Member States are advised to set up national platforms for the implementation of eCall while also investigating ways to accelerate the take up of eCall services by users.
In the context of traffic and travel information, all Member States supported the general goal of the working group to ensure that 80% of journeys are covered by RTTI services, but stressed that it is an ambitious target. National representatives also endorsed the working group's desire to identify more advanced future services based on new technologies.
For their part, European governments will put national strategies for the implementation of RTTI services in place before 2006 while taking steps to ensure roaming and interoperability. These strategies will then be used to reach agreement between public and private service providers on the extent of free services and the conditions of commercial ones.
Member States also pledged to collect sufficiently detailed data in order to further evaluate and monitor the safety impact of in-vehicle information and communication systems, and to take necessary action to prevent the use or misuse of nomadic devices and visual entertainment systems by drivers while driving. The Commission agreed to produce a second communication on eSafety covering the progress made and proposing future actions.
There is now a need to decide the way forward for these issues and agree on the actions to be taken by the Public Authorities. Follow-up on the proposed actions will be made shortly in order to build on the momentum from the High Level meeting's positive outcome.
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eSafety Support is a European Commission funded project coordinated by ERTICO - ITS Europe