The EU plans to introduce a raft of driver safety equipment as standard from 2022 as it looks to reduce the 22,000 people annually killed on roads across the Continent.
Proposals from the European Transport Safety Council include automatic speed limiters on all vehicles.The technology, called Intelligent Speed Assistance or ISA, relies on GPS data and sign recognition technology to control the speed if the driver exceeds the limit.
If passed, the rules will not alleviate human involvement entirely as the driver can merely override the ISA by simply accelerating hard. It will merely act as a forced warning of the speed limit.
The European Parliament and Council have yet to formally approve the measures, and debate remains around implementation of all the recommendations. The plan will be voted on in September 2019.
Many of the technologies, including lane assist and pedestrian impact, already exist on luxury and premium vehicles to one degree or another. The EU plans will see them applied, as standard, to all new cars sold.
The Vehicle Certification Agency, the UK’s regulator on new car standards, has already confirmed that it will adopt the EU standard regardless of the outcome of the current Brexit impasse.
Last month, Swedish carmaker, Volvo announced that it would be limiting the speed of all its future vehicles to 112mph at the Geneva Motor Show.
Legislators say the proposals will be a key ‘landmark’ in car safety. There have only been a handful of moments in the last 50 years which could be described as big leaps forward for road safety in Europe,” said Antonio Avensio, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council. “The mandatory introduction of the seatbelt was one, and the first EU minimum crash safety standards, agreed in 1998 was another.”
Road safety groups have welcomed the news. Brake’s campaigns director, Joshua Harris said the measures ‘will provide the biggest leap forward for road safety this century.”
According to the National Office for Statistics more than 1,700 people are killed on Britain’s roads alone every year.
Using technology to reduce these tragedies is something the whole industry should definitely get behind.