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Eurosmart Attended a Hearing on Industry 4.0 at the European Parliament

13 June 2016

On June 13, Eurosmart attended a public hearing organized by the Industry Committee of the European Parliament. The hearing dealt with the industry 4.0 and the impact on industry of robotics and big data.

The invited speakers discuss the implications of the digital technologies and the required legislation. To this regard, the panel advise the Parliament to adapt the current legislation – as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Database Directive or the Intellectual property rules - to new models. Drafting a new legislative framework is time-consuming and slower than any technological developments, stresses MEP Michal Boni (EPP, Poland).

The legal experts address more precisely the data ownership and the liability issues regarding connected objects. The cars are a study case. Indeed, automatic cars and autonomous cars should be considered differently. The first case is the easier one since the drivers are still able to control their cars. But the autonomous cars, which will be marketed in some years, raise more complex legal issues. Here a new legislation would be necessary to clarify the liability systems. The panel consider that the responsibility should not rest with the drivers (the entire system will be automatic) or with the developers (the legal burden would stifle innovation) but with the constructors. In this scheme, a new insurance model is necessary to be combined with constructors’ liabilities.

To conclude, experts urge Europe to move faster regarding the robotics and big data. China or South Korea have already a long way ahead in the takeover of industries 4.0.