For the past two years, CITA has been leading a research project called “Autofore” on the future options for roadworthiness enforcement in Europe. At the end of January, a final report of the Autofore project was delivered to the European Commission recommending that more frequent periodic technical inspections of older cars, inspection of electronically controlled systems and periodic inspection of motorcycles are immediate steps that could be taken to improve road safety and environmental protection.

On the basis of available accident data and economic analysis, the ‘AUTOFORE’ report recommends in the short term:

A) That older cars and vans are inspected annually (currently the European Directive only requires inspection every two years once a car or van is four years old, though some member states already require more frequent inspection)

B) Adding widely fitted safety relevant electronically controlled systems, such as antilock braking (ABS), electronic stability control (ESC) and airbags to the list of items that must be inspected

C) Adding motorcycles and mopeds to the list of vehicle classes that should be inspected periodically

In addition, the report recommends in the longer term further work to investigate further improvements to periodic vehicle inspection, to inspect other roadworthy relevant electronically based technologies, to develop other ways of ensuring that road vehicles remain roadworthy and to further harmonise European roadworthiness standards.

Read ‘AUTOFORE’ report Autofore was funded 50% by the European Commission and 50% by contributions from CITA members; Applus+Iteuve Technology in Spain, GOCA in Belgium, Groupement des Professionnels du Contrôle Technique Automobile in France, RDW Dienst Wegverkeer in the Netherlands, SGS/National Car Testing Services in Ireland, AB Svensk Bilprovning in Sweden, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency in Great Britain, DEKRA Automobil GmbH in Germany, Société Nationale de Contrôle Technique sprl in Luxembourg.  A-Inspection Ltd in Finland, Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency in Northern Ireland and Verband der Technischen Überwachungs-Vereine (VdTÜV) in Germany.  Other members and stakeholders that have contributed are Slovdekra in Slovak Republic, European Garage Equipment Association, Bundestanstalt für Verkehr in Austria, Center for Vehicles of Croatia, Environmental Systems Products Inc in the USA, National Transport Authority in Hungary, Vietnam Register and Association des Services des Automobiles in Switzerland.

The other members of the ‘Autofore’ consortium are argetp21 in Germany, Institut für Kraftfahrwesen Aachen in Germany, Instituto de Investigación Aplicada del Automóvil (IDIADA) in Spain, Knibb Gormezano & Partners in Great Britain and Transport Engineering Research New Zealand Ltd in New Zealand.  Some parts of the project were done by the University of Cologne, the University of Prague and Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) in the Netherlands.