According to provisional legislation announced earlier in the week, all new cars sold in the EU will be fitted with speed automation by 2022. This follows a proposal last year for semi-automation to be rolled out in Europe, which was met with mixed reactions.
The European Commission said in a statement that bringing down the number of road fatalities in Europe is its main priority. It’s estimated that the number of deaths is currently 25,000 a year, and that around 90% of these are due to human error, which is preventable.
The Commission went on to explain that these features could save thousands of lives, as well as preventing up to 140,000 injuries. It believes that, if the technology is made standard in new vehicles, major progress could be made by the year 2038.
Furthermore, it plans to introduce other mandatory features in the near future. This would include emergency braking systems, alcohol interlock systems, systems that will warn drivers should they become drowsy whilst driving, and electronic data recording systems.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council said that “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.”
“The mandatory introduction of the seat belt was one, and the EU minimum crash safety standards, agreed in 1998 was another If last night’s agreement is given the formal green light, it will represent another of those moments, preventing 25,000 deaths within 15 years of coming into force.”
Road safety groups have welcomed the change, as they say it’s vital for road safety and could save lives. ISA uses GPS to determine the speed limit whilst driving. It then automatically slows the car down if it exceeds the speed limit. However, this can be overridden by the driver if necessary.
When commenting on the news, Elzbieta Bienkowska, EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs said “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” and “many of the new features already exist, in particular in high-end vehicles.”
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