Vehicle inspection, road policing and accident analysis need data access

Call on EU Commission: Delay of legislation has real-world consequences for road safety

May 25, 2023 Automotive / Safety on the road / Future Vehicle & Mobility Services

The European network of traffic police forces ROADPOL, the European Association for Accident Research and Analysis EVU, and the global leader in vehicle inspection DEKRA are urgently calling on the European Commission to act on specific legislation for the mobility sector in terms of access to safety-relevant in-vehicle data. “Delays have real-world consequences on the safety of vehicles and environmental protection”, they say in a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. A proposal for the extension of type approval legislation is waiting to be passed on and is therefore in danger of being delayed until after the next European elections in 2024.

  • ROADPOL, EVU and DEKRA urgently calling for sector-specific regulation
  • Letter to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
  • Lack of action would counteract third-party principle and sovereign function
Sector-specific legislation is indispensable for vehicle inspection, road policing and accident analysis to be appropriately carried out in the future, the three organizations say. “With vehicles becoming increasingly automated and connected, access to the relevant in-vehicle data is absolutely essential – otherwise, police and prosecutors as well as vehicle inspection organizations and accident analysis experts will be unable to perform their vital functions”, states DEKRA CEO Stan Zurkiewicz. “Delaying European legislation on this matter goes counter to our common road safety and sustainability objectives, and is against the interest of the European consumers.”
Without the necessary regulatory framework, exclusive technical access of manufacturers to vehicle data would compromise the fulfilment of sovereign tasks. “A lack of action by the European Commission would lead to isolated solutions depending on individual member states or vehicle manufacturers”, the letter says.
“Apart from their main task of traffic enforcement, European traffic police forces also have to investigate road accidents. With increasing automation and connectivity in vehicles, data access is becoming a more and more important factor in this task”, says ROADPOL president Elvira Zsinkai. “Police need direct access to reliable vehicle data in order to secure forensic evidence for the reconstruction of the accident.”
EVU president Jörg Ahlgrimm stresses this aspect: “For the purpose of determining the cause of a crash, data generated in vehicles are becoming a major source of information. Accident analysts will only be able to find out what happened if the relevant data is accessible for them – without limitations by manufacturers or system providers. Soon we will have to be able to determine whether, at a specific point of time, a vehicle was controlled by the person in the driver’s seat or by an automated system. Authorities absolutely need to have easy and quick access to the relevant data in such cases.”
The same goes for vehicle inspection, says DEKRA as the global number one in the field, carrying out more than 28 million inspections a year in 24 countries around the world. “Periodical-technical inspection is a vital means of ensuring that vehicles are safe, secure and comply with environmental regulations throughout their lifecycle”, stresses DEKRA CEO Zurkiewicz. “When vehicle systems depend on software, such as advanced driver assistant systems and automated driving systems, authorities and independent inspection organizations need access to trusted, unaltered and unfiltered data to verify their correct functioning.”
ROADPOL, EVU and DEKRA experts are calling for a user-centric approach and for data access to be provided under the so-called “FRAND” principles, which means fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory access.
Above all, the organizations are urging the European Commission to come forward with a draft sector-specific legislation without any further delay to ensure that it can be referred to co-legislators within the Parliamentary term.