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Operators, car manufacturers aim to put connected car into gear across Europe

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Operators and car manufacturers have started talks with the European Union about how the connected car market should operate in the coming decades.

The cross-industry talks, which are led by EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Gunter Oettinger, involved the European telco bodies ETNO and ECTA, as well as two car industry trade organisations.

Talks began at this week's International Motor Show in Frankfurt. The initial priorities for the group are to focus on connectivity, network coverage and reliability, facilitating adoption of connected car technologies and ensuring any vehicles are secure.

A joint industry statement said the group will identify areas that need greater focus, as well as where regulation is needed.

It said: "There are strategic challenges to Europe’s ability to implement connectivity and automation in all environments. The completion of a fully-implemented EU Digital Single Market and the deployment of high-speed broadband should be prioritised.

"At the same time, the whole European automotive sector needs to evolve at a fast pace. The ambition is to maintain and further develop Europe’s leading position in this field."

Collaboration will be necessary to recognise the benefits of connected cars. The cross-industry group cited research from BCG, which said there will be 44 million automated vehicles on the road by 2030. In the UK alone, KPMG has predicted the market will be worth €71 billion by the same year.

The body added: "Positive societal benefits are anticipated, with researchers pointing to: new jobs across the automotive value chain; increased road safety and lower fatalities; increased fuel-efficiency and lower environmental impact; reduction of traffic congestion and higher comfort standards for users."