Cars ‘Talking and Hearing in Harmony' - a Smart Move for ETSI! Newly published ETSI Harmonized Standard enables market placement of radio equipment for road safety and traffic management.

ETSI Headquarters, Sophia Antipolis, France - 30 September 2008

As part of the fight to reduce road accidents and traffic jams, ETSI has published a Harmonized Standard enabling the automotive industry to introduce radio systems for ‘smart' vehicle communications systems, so called ‘co-operative' systems.

Such systems enable cars to 'talk' to other cars as well as to road infrastructure providers, based on wireless communication technology. Warning other drivers of adverse road conditions, or of a crash which has just happened are just two examples of possible uses for the technology.

The European Commission (EC) published the decision providing for a single EU-wide frequency band to be used for immediate and reliable communication between cars, and between cars and roadside infrastructure, on 5 August 2008 (30 MHz of spectrum in the 5,9 Gigahertz (GHz) band), which will be allocated soon by European Union (EU) member States.

The Harmonized Standard ETSI EN 302 571 Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS);
Radiocommunications equipment operating in the 5 855 MHz to 5 925 MHz frequency band; Harmonized EN covering the essential requirements of article 3.2 of the R&TTE Directive completes the set of legal and regulatory instruments required for introducing such communications technologies widely know as ‘Intelligent Transport Systems' (ITS) across the EU.

Introduction of these communications technologies is not limited to the EU and can be accomplished in all European states since the European Communications Committee (ECC) published the documents 'ECC Decision of 14 March 2008 on the harmonized use of the 5 875 - 5 925 MHz frequency band for Intelligent transport systems (ITS)' and ECC Recommendation (08)01:'Use of band 5 855 – 5 875 MHz for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS)' in close collaboration with ETSI.

Dr. Gabrielle Owen, Chairman, ETSI Technical Committee (TC) ERM, says:
'The elaboration of this standard, involving close collaboration between the ECC, EC, and the ETSI member community, shows yet again that joint efforts can result in clear benefits for European citizens, in this case delivering the potential to make the lives of Europe's drivers safer and easier".

Mr. Søren Hess, Chairman, ETSI Technical Committee (TC) ITS, says:
'The completion of these legal and regulatory instruments provides the legal certainty required for investors, manufacturers and operators to develop and deploy Intelligent Transport Systems in the automotive domain, and standardized components and radio technology will ease the successful introduction of such systems. ETSI TC ITS elaborates the technical specifications necessary to meet these requirements.

ETSI further complements Technical Standards by running interoperability events such as ETSI PlugtestsTM and by creating specifications for conformance testing. This package ensures that most reliable, secure and safe technologies will see the light of day in vehicular communications environments only.'

Forthcoming ITS events:

  • ETSI TC ITS meeting 13-17 October 2008, Sophia Antipolis, France
  • Car-to-Car demonstration event 22-23 October 2008, Dudenhofen, Germany
  • ETSI TC ITS Workshop 03-06 February 2009, Sophia Antipolis, France

Notes for Editors:

Over 42 000 people died in road accidents in the European Union (EU) in 2006 and over 1,6 million people were injured in the same year.  Approximately 7 500 km of traffic jams occur on EU roads every day.

For further information about this Press Release please contact:

Martin Arndt
ETSI Technical Officer TC ITS
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone:  +33 (0)4 92 94 42 49 

About TC ITS
ETSI TC ITS is responsible for the development and maintenance of standards, specifications and other deliverables to support the development and implementation of ITS service provision across the network; for transport networks, vehicles and transport users, including interface aspects and multiple modes of transport and interoperability between systems (not including ITS application standards, radio matters, and EMC). The committee's scope includes communication media, and associated physical layer, transport layer, network layer, security, lawful interception and the provision of generic web services. For more information please visit: ETSI Intelligent Transport Systems.

About ETSI
ETSI produces globally-applicable standards for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), including fixed, mobile, radio, converged, broadcast and internet technologies and is officially recognized by the European Commission as a European Standards Organization. ETSI is a not-for-profit organization whose 700 ETSI member organizations benefit from direct participation and are drawn from 62 countries across 5 continents worldwide.
For more information please visit: www.etsi.org