Inside this bundle of compulsory safety measures, there are certainly one or two things that nobody can complain about, such as standard-fitted parking sensors, advanced emergency braking and alcohol interlock installation.
- The European Union plans to require speed-limiting and emergency braking technology in all new vehicle models starting in 2022, along with dozens of other technical features to improve road safety, its Parliament announced.
The speed limiter, known as intelligent speed adaption (ISA), relies on Global Positioning System and online maps to restrict the speed of a vehicle to the road speed limit.
Intelligent Speed Assist: Every vehicle will read the posted speed limit of the specific road they are driving on via Global Positioning System and the driver will have to make a concerted effort to break the speed limit by actively pressing the accelerator further. Another feature already standard in many new cars, a lane departure warning system, will become obligatory.
The EU rules must now be formally approved by member states and the European Parliament. It estimates that 90% of accidents are due to human error and that the new features will help save over 25,000 lives and avoid 140,000 injuries by 2038.
The proposals would see ISA and the other measures made mandatory by May 2022 for all cars not already approved for production and May 2024 for cars models already on sale.
Those items are logical additions, but the most controversial safety feature will likely be "intelligent speed assistance".
"These lifesaving measures come at a vital time, with road safety in a concerning period of stagnation with more than 70 people still being killed or seriously injured on British roads every day".
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The new rules will be a "great leap forward" for road safety, Antonio Avenoso, head of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said in a statement. Earlier this month, Volvo announced it will limit the top speed of its cars to 112mph from 2020 onward in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents.
Drivers will be able to override the system by pressing hard on the accelerator, but the system will reactivate every time the auto is started.
The provisional regulation has also been welcomed by road safety groups.
Cars would be prevented from travelling above the limit, forcing drivers to obey speed rules on every road in Europe.
The headline act will be the intelligent speed-limiters, plus technology to detect distracted, drunk or sleepy drivers and the data-recording black boxes, or event data recorders.
But the AA said "a little speed" helps with overtaking or joining motorways. In addition, vehicles will not brake automatically when going from a faster to a slower speed limit, meaning it will still be down to the driver to brake appropriately.