The Dutch minister of Transport, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, went on to highlight intergovernmental cooperation on the NL-DE-AT Cooperative ITS corridor, and proposed further cooperation and automation. And this is where CEDR came on the scene. Our ITS group has already identified the potential benefits of automation. “And our experience on the Cooperative ITS corridor provides a blueprint for collaboration between countries and with industry, on a corridor approach”, says CEDR Secretary-General Steve Philips.
Particularly in the area of commercial vehicles it was recognised that there would have to be trans-national collaboration. This CEDR’s contribution to the Challenge quite clear. Steve Philips: “We offer a platform for cooperation between the participating national road authorities that provide the corridors for the Challenge. We also ensure that all European countries can benefit from the experience and knowledge gained. CEDR’s ITS Group provides a Europe-wide body of expertise and experience on which to build the Challenge, and to link up with all other relevant activities in the field at national, European and international levels.”
Despite the vast scale of efforts and expectations, Philips claims that one success criterion of the Challenge has already been achieved. “The various national partners have been mobilised and are working with the automotive industry on a shared objective. The outcomes of the Challenge – regardless of the end result and the compromises required to achieve trans-national routing of the platoons – will yield very valuable lessons in the fields of platooning, automation and other innovation deployment activities.”
Like many other stakeholders and participants Steve Philips believes that the Challenge will impact activities far beyond April 2016. “Firstly, the Challenge is absolutely not a one-off, and it will provide a basis for future cooperation on platooning and automation. Not only around the National Road Administration (NRA), but also involving industry.”
In conclusion, CEDR's Secretary-General states that, “the significance of the Challenge is not limited to automation. NRAs and the automotive industry face many common challenges: safety, air quality, emissions and noise, to mention just a few. Where it is possible to work together on win-win outcomes, it will lead to more rapid implementation of innovative solutions. Solutions that benefit society at large and help NRAs give the improved cost-beneficial services. The Challenge will provide a tangible example of how such cooperation can work across a range of disciplines.”
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