Europe to mandate suite of 15 new safety features in cars, vans, trucks and buses by 2022; intelligent speed assistance and data recorder
The European Parliament, Council and Commission (the EU institutions) reached a provisional political agreement on the revised General Safety Regulation. As of 2022 a suite of 15 new safety technologies will become mandatory in European vehicles to protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. The European Commission expects that the proposed measures will help save more than 25,000 lives and avoid at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038.
The new mandatory safety features include:
For cars, vans, trucks and buses: warning of driver drowsiness and distraction (e.g. smartphone use while driving); intelligent speed assistance (ISA); reversing safety with camera or sensors; and data recorder in case of an accident (“black box”). ISA uses a speed sign-recognition video camera and/or GPS-linked speed limit data to advise drivers of the current speed limit and automatically limit the speed of the vehicle as needed. ISA systems do not automatically apply the brakes, but simply limit engine power preventing the vehicle from accelerating past the current speed limit unless overridden.
For cars and vans: lane-keeping assistance; advanced emergency braking; and crash-test improved safety belts.
For trucks and buses: specific requirements to improve the direct vision of bus and truck drivers and to remove blind spots; and systems at the front and side of the vehicle to detect and warn of vulnerable road users, especially when making turns.
In addition to protecting people on European roads, the EC suggests, the new advanced safety features will help drivers get gradually used to the new driving assistance. Increasing degrees of automation offer significant potential to compensate for human errors and offer new mobility solutions for the elderly and physically impaired. All this should enhance public trust and acceptance of automated cars, supporting the transition towards autonomous driving.
Next steps. The political agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission in the trilogue negotiations is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and Council.The new safety features will become mandatory from 2022, with the exception of direct vision for trucks and buses and enlarged head impact zone on cars and vans, which will follow later due to the necessary structural design changes.
Background. In recent years, the EU has introduced a range of mandatory measures, which contributed to an estimated reduction of 50,000 fatal traffic casualties per year. These measures include electronic stability control systems on all vehicles, as well as advanced emergency braking systems and lane departure warning systems on trucks and buses.
In 2017, the Commission launched a public consultation to gather stakeholder views on potential improvements to current vehicle safety measures. In May 2018, the Commission then proposed a review of the General Safety Regulation and the Pedestrian Safety Regulation, under the Third “Europe on the Move” set of actions. The revised General Safety Regulation goes hand-in-hand with an efficient safety management of road infrastructure, where the Commission's proposal was agreed in February 2019.
The Commission also presented a Communication on Connected and Automated Mobility to make Europe a world leader for autonomous and safe mobility systems. As a first deliverable for connected mobility the Commission had adopted new rules that step up the deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) on Europe's roads. C-ITS allow vehicles to talk to each other, to the road infrastructure, and to other road users.