A raft of new safety technologies will become mandatory in European vehicles as of 2022. The overall aim: to protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.
Human error accounts for 90 percent of fatalities and injuries on our roads, says the European Commission. Advanced safety features will reduce the number of accidents and pave the way towards a connected and automated future, it says.
Two headline features include alcohol interlock installation facilitation and intelligent speed assistance. In other words, built-in breathalysers and speed limiters.
The Commission expects the proposed measures to save around 25,000 lives and 140,000 injuries by 2038.
It’s part of a wider plan to ‘help drivers get gradually used to the new driving assistance… [enhancing] public trust and acceptance of automated cars’.
The mandatory safety features will cover cars, vans, trucks and buses. Key features include:
- For cars, vans, trucks and buses: driver drowsiness and distraction warnings, intelligent speed assistance, reversing safety with camera or sensors, ‘black box’ data recorders in the event of an accident.
- For cars and vans: lane-keeping assistance, advanced emergency braking, crash-test improved safety belts.
- For trucks and buses: improve the direct vision of bus and truck drivers, remove blind spots, detect and warn of vulnerable road users.
All will become mandatory from 2022, with the exception of direct vision for trucks and buses, which requires necessary structural design changes.
‘We can and must act’
Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, responsible for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error.
“We can and must act to change this. With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when the safety belts were first introduced.
“Many of the new features already exist, in particular in high–end vehicles. Now we raise the safety level across the board, and pave the way for connected and automated mobility of the future.”