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Anna Johansson is no longer a government minister, Minister for Infrastructure
Handshake on digitalisation and geofencing
Directly after the awful terror attack in Stockholm on 7 April 2017, Minister for Infrastructure Anna Johansson took the initiative to hold a meeting at the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation to discuss with representatives of relevant government agencies, the automotive industry, the transport sector, trade union organisations, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, and large municipalities how we can work together to reduce the risk of vehicles being hijacked and used in terror attacks. One proposal raised at the meeting concerned the use of geofencing.
Sweden depends on a sustainable and efficient transport system throughout the country. Transport volumes in Sweden's cities are expected to increase in the future, at the same time as transport must be made more efficient and environmentally sound. Transport must be developed to create attractive and sustainable cities.
Vehicles are currently highly connected, offering opportunities to use new technologies to achieve the transport policy objectives. By making use of the opportunities provided by digitalisation and automation, we can:
• make transport more efficient;
• reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
• reduce traffic noise in inner-city areas;
• improve air quality;
• increase road safety, especially for vulnerable road users; and
• increase people's sense of safety and security.
We can create a good built environment that is attractive for people to spend time in.
It is essential that we promote the development of digital innovations that can help to achieve the objectives set for transport policy. Geofencing is a technical solution to enable only authorised vehicles to be driven within a geographically defined area. Geofencing could also be used to technically limit speeds to the highest permitted speed, which in a 'home zone' can be 7 km/h. It can also be used to determine which powertrain is used in a vehicle, for example when the vehicle is driven in an environmental zone. Geofencing is a form of digital infrastructure that needs to be developed, tested and demonstrated as part of efforts to create a connected transport system.
Restricting which vehicles are authorised to drive in certain urban environments or the speed at which they can travel in these environments would mean that more people could live sustainably and that the national environmental quality objectives could be more easily achieved. Such restrictions would also help increase the road safety of vulnerable road users. In addition, it could help to protect people's lives and health by preventing opportunities to hijack vehicles and use them in terror attacks.
We are therefore pleased to have agreed with Scania, the Volvo Group, Volvo Cars, the City of Stockholm, the City of Gothenburg and the Swedish Transport Administration to work together on ways of making use of the opportunities offered by digitalisation. The initial stage now involves beginning a project that will result in demonstrations of geofencing in 2018.
A joint steering group will be set up for this purpose. The Swedish Transport Administration will coordinate and lead the work of the steering group.