The concept of connected cars is coming closer to reality in Europe with two European standards organisations, ETSI and CEN, have delivered first set of standards, outlining specification of the technology, following a request from European Commission in 2009.
The basic set of standards for Cooperative Intelligence Transport Systems (C-ITS), will enable vehicles made by different manufacturers to communicate with each other and with the road infrastructure systems.
The new specifications will help in preventing road accidents by providing warning messages including warning about driving the wrong way or possible collisions at intersections, as well as advance warnings of roadworks, traffic jams and other potential risks to road safety.
European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes said with this set of standards ready, connected cars are on the right track.
"Direct communication between vehicles and infrastructures will ensure safer and more efficient traffic flows, with great benefits for drivers & pedestrians, our environment and our economy," Kroes said.
"But for connected cars to really work, we also need more consistency in rules that underpin fast broadband networks. Our fragmented spectrum policy puts the brakes on our economy - now it's time to get our connected continent up to cruising speed".
Connected cars are expected to drive on European roads in 2015 and the new standard will specify common technical specifications, including radio frequencies and messaging formats.
As part of preparation of the introduction of connected cars; Austria, Germany and the Netherlands have agreed to cooperate on the implementation of ITS infrastructure along the route between Rotterdam and Vienna (via Frankfurt).
ETSI director general Luis Jorge Romero said, "ITS standards will empower the next generation of vehicles, making driving easier, roads safer and reducing traffic congestion."
Standards for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) have been developed with experts from the automotive industry including car manufacturers and suppliers, as well as infrastructure system suppliers and operators.
CEN and CENELEC director general of Elena Santiago Cid said having suitable standards for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems is vital for enabling European manufacturers to produce the next generation of connected cars.
"The Release 1 specifications will be tested under real road conditions and may be improved if necessary," Santiago Cid said.