EC intelligent transport system to help cut car fumes

The European Commission aims to introduce intelligent transport systems into vehicles that will let road users avoid traffic-clogged routes

The European Commission is aiming to tackle pollution-spewing motors and traffic jams with its latest vehicle initiative.

The Commission has backed a scheme to introduce intelligent transport systems — a mixture of existing information and communication technologies — into road vehicles to cut congestion as well as carbon emissions.

Under an action plan adopted yesterday, the Commission aims to introduce a single intelligent transport system governing driving, navigation and entertainment, which should be introduced across the EU to help drivers avoid traffic-clogged roads.

Drivers could be given information on busy roads, weather forecasts and speed limits to help them find the most suitable routes, while information on travel garnered from the system could also be fed back to those in charge of member states' road systems.

In time, the Commission also hopes to see the system gain other capabilities in areas such as vehicle safety, including the potential introduction of collision-avoidance systems and driver speed alerts.

Additional functionality developed for subsets of professional drivers could also be added: the ability to track stolen freight lorries carrying dangerous goods, for example.

The new generation of intelligent transport systems will take advantage of Galileo, the European answer to GPS, which is expected to be accurate to within 10cm.

A working group will be convened next year to see the action plan become a reality, with a new European Commission directive already on the cards.