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eSafety makes sense for road safety and business, says Liikanen

'eSafety is an opportunity to further improve road safety and comfort of vehicles, decrease harmful effects of transport and turn this into business opportunities to automotive, telecommunications and service industries,' said EU Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner...

'eSafety is an opportunity to further improve road safety and comfort of vehicles, decrease harmful effects of transport and turn this into business opportunities to automotive, telecommunications and service industries,' said EU Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen on 16 September. Speaking in Lyon, France, at the opening session of 'eSafety congress: IT solutions for safety and security in intelligent transport', Mr Liikanen stressed that eSafety is not intended to replace conventional safety measures, but to complement them, with a resulting 50 per cent drop in road accident fatalities by 2010. Working towards an eSafety action plan, the Commission set up a joint industry-public sector working group. 'This joint effort should help to build a positive business case for eSafety,' said the Commissioner. Mr Liikanen highlighted the role that the public sector must play in developing and implementing eSafety. 'The role of the public sector is mainly to facilitate this business case by supporting RTD [research and technological development] and standardisation, [...] contributing to building awareness and accelerating the introduction in the market.' He said that the Commission would be building upon the success of work done under the EU funded telematics applications programme and the Fifth Framework programme's information society technologies (IST) programme. He added that the Sixth Framework programme will offer new funding opportunities for active safety and advanced driver assistance systems technologies. 'In this programme we are also open to international collaboration, and will cooperate with national programmes within the so-called European research area,' he said. At a high level meeting on 14 November, the Commission expects to approve the results of the working group's report.