12 Aug 2011
New tachograph features for enhanced road safety
In a recent legislation proposal, the European Commission envisaged technological improvements for a mandatory recorder of professional drivers’ activities known as tachograph. The proposal takes into account the findings and recommendations emerging from several JRC studies.
The digital tachograph has been in use since 2006 as part of a regulation aiming to improve road safety, professional drivers’ working conditions and fair competition between road transport companies. The device records drivers’ rest and driving hours, as well as speed of the vehicle. The revised tachograph legislation as proposed by the Commission will make full use of new technological opportunities such as satellite positioning. It will help to reduce fraud and cut the administrative burden related to the tachograph's use.
The IPSC conducted a study on the vulnerability and controllability of the digital tachograph, which identifies the current and forthcoming limitations of its security mechanisms and of the provisions defined to check its proper installation and operation.
The IPSC has also provided technical scenarios for further development of the digital tachograph, which have had substantial influence on several novelties introduced by the new legislative proposal. These options envisage location recording by satellite positioning, remote communication for more efficient roadside checks, specific interface for integration into intelligent transport systems, and merging the driving licence with the digital tachograph driver card.
Since 2004 the IPSC has been involved in the design and implementation of the digital tachograph. It is currently responsible for two essential services: the European Root Certification Authority (ERCA) which generates and distributes encrypted root keys to all national authorities, and the Laboratory for Interoperability Certification (IOT) responsible for issuing one of the three certifications needed for the digital tachograph to enter the market.
The Commission expects that the European Parliament and Council adopt the proposed legislation by the end of 2011.