The European Commission wants it to be mandatory that all new cars to be fitted with eleven safety features by 2021 in bold new plans.
All new cars will be fitted with a package of safety systems, which are designed to reduce the risk of accidents, if European lawmakers are successful.
Driver assistance safety systems have become increasingly more prevalent over the past decade and can help to improve safety for the driver, passengers and other road users.
Included in the proposal is autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keep assistance and fatigue monitoring systems.
AEB works by monitoring the road ahead and then automatically applying the brakes if it detects that the driver has not reacted in time.
It is believed that the new measures could save around 7,300 lives over the next decade and 38,900 serious injuries. Another feature that could be introduced is an ‘over-ridable intelligent speed assistance’. This system would work in conjunction with traffic sign recognition cameras and a car’s speed limiter, to automatically set a car’s top speed based on the road speed limit.
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) executive direction, David Davies, has said that the new rules would be a “free lunch” for the Government as they would “not require Government spending.”
It also added that the introduction of these systems could save the Government billions of pounds as there is it would require no investment.
David Davies, PACTS executive director said: “It will be excellent value for money as road collisions and casualties have huge social costs – £36 billion in 2016 for the UK. “Road deaths and serious injuries in Europe and in the UK have declined little since 2010. This could bring casualty numbers down substantially.”
The Commissions stated that the features have the potential to compensate for one of the main causes of road accidents – human error.
In addition to this adoption of these systems will pave the way for when the roads become more densely populated with autonomous vehicles.
Despite the demand for the new high-tech after systems to be included on every new car, the Commission said that it should have ‘little or no impact’ on the overall cost of a vehicle.
The 11 systems set to become mandatory in 2021:
Advanced emergency braking
Alcohol interlock installation facilitation
Drowsiness and attention detection
Event (accident) data recorder
Emergency stop signal
Full-width frontal occupant protection crash test – improved seatbelts
Head impact zone enlargement for pedestrians and cyclists – safety glass in case of crash
Intelligent speed assistance
Lane keeping assist
Pole side impact occupant protection
Reversing camera or detection system
Another popular feature of new cars is reversing camera which will also be made standard if the proposals are accepted. These cameras will soon become mandatory on new cars in the US. Announcing the new safety measures, the European Commission’s head of markets, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, said: “90 per cent of road accidents are due to human error. “The new mandatory safety features we propose today will reduce the number of accidents and pave the way for a driverless future of connected and automated driving.” Davies added: “EU vehicle safety regulations have not been updated since 2009. “This is an opportunity to ensure that modern safety features are fitted as standard, not as options. “Over the years, the UK has been at the forefront of developing safer cars and higher standards in Europe. “PACTS urges the Government to get behind the Commission’s proposals and ensure that they are adopted without delay.”