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      Press Release
      June 19, 2023

      The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) grants Continental approval for new smart tachograph

      • From August 21, 2023, a second-version smart tachograph must be installed in all newly registered commercial vehicles in the European Union
      • Law for the transition phase until the introduction of the authenticated Galileo positioning signal ensures legal security
      • Continental sees the DTCO 4.1 as an enabler of data-based services for transport logistics

      Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany, June 19, 2023. Continental has received the KBA’s type approval for the VDO DTCO 4.1. This version of the smart tachograph specified by the EU Mobility Package 1 introduces new and partly modified functions and provides reliable data for more efficient controls in international freight transport. “We're delighted that the second version of our smart tachograph has received all the necessary safety certifications and the type approval in time for the targeted market launch,” says Dirk Gandras, who heads tachograph development in the Connected Commercial Vehicle Solutions business segment. “This means that nothing more stands in the way of the timely delivery of the second version of the smart tachograph before the planned launch date for all newly registered commercial vehicles on August 21, 2023.”

      More safety and fairness on Europe’s roads

      Better working conditions, equal competition conditions and more safety on the roads are the goals of Mobility Package 1, the regulations of which have been successively implemented. The mobility package not only changes rest periods, it primarily regulates the obligations to provide proof of cabotage trips and the posting of driving personnel. The new second version of the smart tachograph will now enable the control and enforcement of these regulations. This is the first time in the now hundred-year history of the tachograph that legislators have assigned additional control functions to the tachograph – functions that go far beyond the recording of working and operating times.

      As provided for in the Implementing Regulation (EU 2021/1228), newly registered commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 3.5 metric tons must be equipped with second-version smart tachographs from August 21, 2023. Existing vehicles used in cross-border traffic will also follow in two stages by August 2025. What’s new is that commercial vehicles with a total weight of 2.5 and 3.5 tons traveling across borders will require a tachograph from July 2026. Continental recommends that the conversion be carried out during the legally prescribed tachograph inspection – this will reduce vehicle downtimes in workshops.

      Technical enabler for more transparency and new data-based services

      One of the most important tasks of the new DTCO 4.1 is the improved documentation of cabotage trips and driver posting. To achieve this, the vehicle position and border crossings are automatically detected via a GNSS module (Global Navigation Satellite System) and recorded in the mass memory. A Bluetooth interface provides more connectivity, making it easy to read and control the tachograph on external devices such as smartphones. The DTCO 4.1 is also suitable for the new driver cards with expanded storage capacity from 28 to 56 days. These cards will become mandatory at the end of 2024. Data security is guaranteed by the legally required security certificate in accordance with the ISO/IEC-15408 standard with the EAL 4+ test level (Evaluation Assurance Level). The DTCO 4.1 already uses data from the European satellite navigation system Galileo, which will offer a future plus in data security. “We had hoped that the operator would provide us with the authentication of Galileo positioning data for the market launch in August,” explains Matthias Kliché, Head of Legal Requirements in the Connected Commercial Vehicle Solutions business segment. “However, this was not possible, so we’re pleased that the European Commission’s recent adoption of regulation EU 2023/980 has provided legal security in the interest of all stakeholders during this transition period.”

      Already familiar in the DTCO 4.0, the ITS interface (ITS = Intelligent Transport Systems) is now mandatory for the new version of the tachograph, and it will enable many other application scenarios in the future. The tachograph can transform data into trustworthy, secure, and uniquely assignable data. This will create opportunities that go far beyond legal and regulatory specifications, even encompassing data-based services that will make the jobs of commercial vehicle fleet operators much easier. One example here is the integration of toll services – the so-called tachograph toll – which Continental will offer for the first time in 2024, together with the toll service provider Axxès. There are no limits to the imagination when it comes to developing services where the tachograph provides the crucial data: “Together with development partners, customers and start-ups, we want to unlock the full potential of the tachograph and expand the service landscape for fleets and drivers,” says Dirk Gandras, commenting on the future of the tachograph.

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