Satellite issue to temporarily impact function on new smart tachographs

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The launch of the EU's new Galileo service, whose task will be to authenticate the positions of truck drivers recorded by via tachograph, has to be postponed and is now expected to be operational by December 2023, the European Commission has confirmed to Trans.INFO. This means that the new Smart Tachograph 2 devices, which must be installed in all new HGVs from August of this year, won't be able to use the service for a while.

Satellite issue to temporarily impact function on new smart tachographs
Photo credits @ Trans.INFO

The new version of tachographs, the so-called Smart Tachograph 2 (SMT2), should be installed in all new HGVs from August 2023, in line with the Mobility Package regulations. One of the important features the new devices will provide is the automatic recording of vehicles’ border crossings.

To do so, the SMT2 devices must be ready to authenticate the signal from the Galileo Open Service Navigation Message Authentication (OSNMA) satellite service – as soon as the new Galileo system is operational.

Herein lies the problem – as the EC has informed Trans.INFO, the service will not be available before December 2023.

The European Commission will therefore propose an amendment to the implementing regulation, which will ensure that all MST2 devices function in the same way before and after the Galileo service is available.

Though, “the transitional measure will enable the timely deployment of smart tachograph 2 within the set deadline of 21 August 2023,” the EC added.

While the EC spokesperson hasn’t provided further information on how the new smart tachographs should operate before the Galileo system is available, French automotive news portal auto-infos.fr seems to have gained some more details about the potential method of operation.

According to the news site, with this amendment, the new tachographs will operate as if the authenticated signal existed to prevent the driver from receiving a warning signal. Border crossings will be automatically recorded by the new tachograph as planned.

“These recordings will be well recognized by the control authorities (despite the absence of formal authentication). For the carrier and the driver, therefore, nothing changes at the moment due to the delay,” the article explains.

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