Connected-cars legislation draws EU lawmakers' late objections ahead of April vote

28 Mar 2019 12:00 am by Cynthia Kroet

Telecom operators and carmakers in favor of cellular technology for Internet-connected vehicles have received last-minute hope after some EU lawmakers objected to draft legislation specifying WiFi-based technical communication standards, MLex has learned.

Several members of the European Parliament, including French liberal Dominique Riquet, have submitted an objection to the European Commission over the secondary legislation on Connected and Intelligent Transport Systems, MLex understands.

It is not clear what their specific concerns are focused on, but the choice of standards has emerged as the key point of contention in negotiations over the draft law.

The assembly’s transport committee is due to vote on the plans at a session penciled in for April 8. If it rejects the bill, it will be debated at a plenary session later next month.

The commission has already updated its heavily debated plan, which would set WiFi as the default technical standard for connected vehicles, after it received feedback from the industry early this year. Its revised text now includes a timeframe for an expert group to start reviewing new technical standards, which could include cellular technology.

This was important for tech companies such as Qualcomm, Ericsson and Nokia, and carmakers such as BMW and Daimler, to ensure that new technologies — specifically cellular-based LTE-V2X — could be added once they’ve been approved by European standards bodies.

Lawmakers, including Riquet and transport committee chairwoman Karima Delli, had expressed their concerns about the bill during commission briefings in the parliament earlier this year. They asked the EU executive to give more detailed explanations about the choice for standards.

The commission adopted its text on March 13, beginning the two-month scrutiny period in which the parliament and national governments can object to the proposal.

Governments have until April 3 to address possible concerns before the text will be sent for approval. If any EU member state raises concerns, the bill will be examined by the transport working party in the Council of the EU, the national governments' legislative body.

Once approved, the rules would enter into force on Dec. 31 of this year.

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