Europe's transport ministers, the European Commission and the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) have reached an agreement on cooperation in the field of connected and automated driving.

In the 'Declaration of Amsterdam', endorsed during Thursday's (14 April) Informal Transport Council organised by the Dutch EU Presidency, all parties agreed to work together to ensure a successful deployment of these smart technologies across Europe.

Speaking at the Transport Council, Erik Jonnaert, secretary general of ACEA said: "Connected and automated driving is an important part of our response to future mobility challenges, in terms of balancing the growing demand for transport and mobility with environmental protection and increased safety. But even though this revolution is shaping our industry at a rapid pace, there are many challenges on the road ahead."

To overcome these challenges, it will be essential to adapt traffic rules, improve the digital infrastructure, establish clear rules about liability, secure people's personal data, increase funding for research and innovation, and promote operational testing.

"Our industry welcomes the Declaration of Amsterdam as an important milestone that promotes much-needed cooperation between automobile manufacturers, national governments and the EU institutions," Jonnaert added.

The Dutch minister of infrastructure and the environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, said: "Today for the first time, we have talked at the European political level about self-driving vehicles and the measures required for their smooth introduction in Europe. We want to pick up the pace because there are many gains to be made for mobility. Connected and automated vehicles will make our roads safer, more sustainable and more efficient."