This section gives an overview of the regulatory framework applicable in the EU in terms of vehicles regulations and road safety, including a deep dive into automated driving related subjects.

The new proposals for regulations are presented, as well as other relevant documents like the guidelines published by different member states or other non-binding official documents.


The Regulatory Framework for homologation in Europe has Directive 2007/46 as its core. This Directive defines all the administrative procedures and technical requirements for type approval for vehicles and components at an EU level. This Directive has been recently amended by Regulation 2018/858 which will replace the current Directive in September 2020.

In addition, the General Safety Regulation has been recently updated in order to include the latest available technologies. This regulation defines the minimum safety features to be fitted in a vehicle for its type approval.

Special attention will be paid to the developments on Cybersecurity and OTA updates as those technologies are closely linked to Automated Driving.

Other areas which are also considered in the European Regulatory Framework are C-ITS to allow road users and traffic managers to share information and use it to coordinate their actions, and also Road Traffic Safety.

  • Type approval framework:
    • Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 September 2007 establishing a framework for the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles. It is known as ‘Framework Directive’.
      • This directive includes an article that specifies the requirements for type-approval exemptions; Article 20 Exemptions for new technologies or new concept, where Member States may, on application by the manufacturer, grant an EC type-approval in respect of a type of system, component or separate technical unit that incorporates technologies or concepts which are incompatible with one or more regulatory acts listed in Part I of Annex IV of the mentioned Directive.
        Member States may issue a temporary approval valid only in its territory, providing with following information to Commission and other states:


        • The reasons why the technologies or concepts in question make the system incompatible with the requirements.
        • A description of the safety and environmental considerations concerned and the measures taken.
        • A description of the tests, including their results, demonstrating that, by comparison with the requirements from which exemption is sought, at least an equivalent level of safety and environmental protection is ensured.
    • Regulation (EU) 2018/858 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, amending Regulations (EC) No 715/2007 and (EC) No 595/2009 and repealing Directive 2007/46/EC.
      • The new Regulation (EU) 2018/858, has also adopted an article for Exemptions for new technologies or new concept (Article 39).
    • Regulation (EC)  No 78/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 January 2009 on the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, amending Directive 2007/46/EC and repealing Directives 2003/102/EC and 2005/66/EC.
  • General Safety Regulation:
    • Regulation (EC) No 661/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units intended therefor.
    • Proposal for a regulation on type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and their trailers, and systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, as regards their general safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users, amending Regulation (EU) 2018/… and repealing Regulations (EC) No 78/2009, (EC) No 79/2009 and (EC) No 661/2009.
  • Connectivity/C-ITS:
  • Privacy & data protection:
    • Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation).


In absence of certification, operations approval through independent assessment of a design safety case and an operations safety case is an intermediate step allowing the industry to move forward with safe and reliable deployments. However, it becomes necessary to create the standards and approaches that will set the specific requirements to be fulfilled to achieve certification in order to ensure the correct behaviour of the system.
See more information here

Guidelines and Strategies

This section includes published reports that include the expert shared vision and the progress towards the definition of different standards for Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility. These guidelines can be of support to:

  • clarify what can be expected from regulators
  • understand the impact of the regulated services
  • understand the convergence among technology deployment and regulation

Guidelines and reports issued within the EU:

  • Final report C-ITS Platform, phase I:
    By endorsing the Final Report of the first phase of the C-ITS Platform on 21 January 2016, the C-ITS Platform achieved its first milestone towards connected and automated vehicles in the EU. The Commission in consequence prepared the European strategy on Cooperative intelligent Transport Systems, based on the recommendations of the platform.
  • Final report C-ITS Platform, phase II:
    This report is the deliverable of the second phase of the C-ITS platform (July 2016 – September 2017) which further develops a shared vision on the interoperable deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility (CCAM) in the European Union. This includes making tangible progress towards the definition of implementation conditions for topics already discussed during the first phase1 , but also recognizes and further investigates the mutual benefits that future CITS services will bring in terms of automation. All members of the C-ITS platform believe that the ultimate goal is the full convergence of all developments under Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM), making use of the digitisation of transport.
  • Draft guidelines on the exemption procedure for the EU Approval of automated vehicles
  • JRC and DG Grow: at the end of 2018, the European Commission held the 1st Technical Workshop on new approaches for AD vehicles certification. The objective was to join Industry, Technical Services and Approval Authorities, so as to define a common strategy for a Safety Assessment of Automated Vehicles. The continuation of the definition of this strategy will be defined in the different Workshops foreseen in 2019 and the coming year.

Other documents issued by EU members

See links here.

Policy and Strategies

The European Commission supports the introduction and deployment of CAM on various levels. At a policy level it develops policies, communications, roadmaps, strategies in close collaboration with stakeholders.

  • Official communications:
    • COM(2018) 283 – On the road to automated mobility: An EU strategy for mobility of the future
    • COM (2016) 766 – A European strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, a milestone towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility
  • Reports from high level working groups
    • GEAR2030 – High Level Group GEAR 2030 report on automotive competitiveness and sustainability. Published on: 18/10/2017
  • Delegated Acts
    • C(2019) Delegated Regulation – adopted by the European Commission in March 2019 – which aims at stepping up the deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) on roads across the European Union (EU)
  • Other strategic pillars:

Feedback form

Have feedback on this section??? Let us know!

Send feedback


Please add your feedback in the field below.

Your feedback has been sent!
Thank you for your input.

An error occured...
Please try again later.