The emergence of intelligent transportation systems in Europe can be dated back to 1969 when the European Commission proposed a demonstration of electronic traffic control among member states. Since 1986, the Western European countries had been conducted research, development and deployment in the ITS field under the guidance of PROMETHEUS (European Traffic of Highest Efficiency and Unprecedented Safety) and DRIVE (Dedicated Road Infrastructure for Vehicle Safety in Europe).
In 2009, three European standardization organizations -- European Committee for Standardization (CEN), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) – were entrusted by the European Commission to formulate a set of unified standards, specifications and guidelines within European Union for the deployment of cooperative intelligent transportation systems. In 2010, the European Commission released the "Action Plan of ITS Development", which is the first legal document for the deployment of intelligent transportation within European Union. The plan aims to achieve the goals – transportation sustainability, competitiveness and energy saving – by 2020 and promotes the intelligent transportation in terms of R&D innovation, achievement transformation and application deployment.
In 2016, the European Commission passed the "Cooperative ITS Development Strategy", aiming to deploy C-ITS on a large scale by 2019 to enable intelligent vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. In December 2020, the European Commission announced the "Sustainable and Intelligent Transportation Strategy", striving to reduce carbon emissions by 90% in the transportation industry by 2050. To achieve this goal, the European Union proposed an action plan consisting of 82 initiatives to effectively promote the construction of green and intelligent transportation.