Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth Image from World Maritime University

Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth has invited the EU transport ministers to discuss connected and automated driving on the roads. The meeting will take place in Stockholm on 18–19 July 2018.

Sweden is a world leader on road safety solutions and is at the forefront in terms of connected and automated vehicles. Connected, cooperative and automated vehicles and systems have the potential to radically change our transport systems, our innovative development and our labour market. In the long run, the technology can also provide new opportunities for mobility and transport in sparsely populated areas and for people who currently have limited possibilities for organising their own transport.

Developments in this area are generating new issues for decision-makers, authorities and the industries affected. In the transport sector, the challenge is using traditional technology alongside new technological solutions. This must be done in line with international regulations. Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth has invited other EU transport ministers to a high-level meeting to be held in Gothenburg in June 2018 to discuss how the area of connected, cooperative and automated vehicles and systems can develop in a more harmonised manner within the EU, enabling tests and demonstrations in the area.

Illustration: Itziar Castany Ramirez

Third high-level meeting in Gothenburg

This meeting will be the third high-level meeting for follow-up of the Declaration of Amsterdam and an opportunity to showcase Swedish work in the area of connected and automated vehicles. During the meeting, which is made up of several parts, working groups that have been working since the meetings in Amsterdam and Frankfurt will present their reports, and the final touches will be made to the meeting conclusions to be adopted. Besides EU transport ministers, European and international industry organisations are also invited to the high-level meeting.

A preparatory hearing ahead of the high-level meeting will take place in early June with a focus on the interaction between humans and machines, and on the industry’s prospects of developing new areas of application.

Inquiry proposes simpler regulations

One prerequisite for this technology being accepted in society is the safe development of automated transport. In early March, the Government’s Inquiry Chair Jonas Bjelfvenstam submitted the final report entitled ‘The path to automated driving – market introduction’ (SOU 2018:16). The Inquiry proposes a number of regulatory changes necessary to begin using and developing automated vehicles on the roads over the next few years. The Inquiry also proposes measures that need to be taken in the longer term. The regulatory changes are proposed to enter into force on 1 July 2019. The final report is is subject to public consultation until September 1 2018.