EU Introduces New Mandatory Safety Technologies

Posted on Monday 18 June 2018 by CarTakeBack

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The EU have announced safety features that are to be made mandatory in all new cars, vans and trucks from 2021. Currently human error is attributed to 90% of road traffic incidents, and the new rules are expected to save approximately 7,300 lives and prevent 38,900 serious injuries between 2020 and 2030.

EU Flags. EU introduce mandatory vehicle safety features.

Here's a rundown of what features planned to be made law:

Advanced Emergency Breaking

More commonly known as AEB, this system applies the breaks when there is an obstacle in the road but the driver doesn't apply the brakes. AEB is currently available as an optional extra on many cars, and has shown to reduce rear-end collisions by an impressive 38%.

Alcohol Interlock Installation Facilitation

Some EU states already have breathalyser-carrying laws, and breathalyser immobilisation technology is available to buy. The technology requires a sample of breath before being turned on, stopping the car from being driven if alcohol is detected.

Drowsiness and Attention Detection

A new technology that detects when a driver's attention is wavering, and alerts them, telling them to take a break. Driving behaviour is analysed using steering angle sensors, vehicle speed and the use of the indicator. Some versions of the technology monitor the eyes of the driver for signs of tiredness such as prolonged or more frequent blinking, and head movement to detect distraction.

Event Data Recorder

Similar to the 'black box' in aircraft, when an incident happens the data about the speed, impact, etc. will be recorded. The EU are hoping that this data will help them develop future safety initiatives to reduce incidents even further.

Emergency Stop Signalling

The hazard lights of the vehicle will automatically flash when the driver has performed an emergency stop.

Still from an animation from Volvo showing Hazard Warning System

Image: Still from an animation showing Volvo's Hazard Light Alert system.

Head Impact Zone Enlargement

This will include safety glass for greater protection of cyclists and pedestrians on impact.

Improved Occupant Protection

The safety test for new cars will be stricter, calling for greater safety of the vehicle's occupants during frontal and side impact tests. This will also make improved seatbelts mandatory.

Intelligent Speed Assistance

This one is controversial. The system scans road signs for speed limits and controls the speed of the car to adhere to them, which some critics believe is "the first step towards total governance of a car's speed". Drivers will be able to override the system, but some people think this will have implications on insurance.

Lane Keeping Assist

Already available in lots of cars, lane assist warns a driver if they are straying out of their lane with visual or audio alerts.

Reversing Camera or Detection System

Reversing cameras are already mandatory in the USA, and included in many cars sold in Ireland. Making them mandatory is forecast to save around 95 lives every year.

Nissan reversing camera

Image: Nissan Note reversing camera.

The EU have insisted that these planned changes, despite many of them currently being available as expensive add-ons for new cars, will not drastically increase the cost of buying a car fresh off the production line.

At CarTakeBack we are welcoming these changes, as these technologies have proven to save many lives. With development of improved safety features moving so quickly, we wonder what will be introduced next?

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