Cars sold in the European Union are required to be fitted with a range of new safety systems as standard from May 2022 and will include intelligent speed limiters and monitors that can detect when a driver is drowsy or distracted. The European Commission has approved the legislation, which was proposed last year and provisionally approved last month, in a bid to improve road safety. The legislation will come into effect in May 2022 for new models (which haven’t been designed yet), and May 2024 for new versions of models currently on sale. The measures are subject to the formal approval of the European Parliament and EU member states in September.
The legislation will make it compulsory for the new cars to be fitted intelligent speed assistance (ISA) systems that can use GPS data and sign-recognition cameras to inform drivers of speed limits and, unless overridden, can limit the speed of the vehicle as needed, by way of reducing engine power. Also part of the safety feature list is an alcohol interlock system to prevent drunk driving.
The distraction monitors will use cameras that'll help detect when a driver is impaired, tired or distracted, and then prompt them to react. Volvo recently announced that the systems would be a standard fit on its vehicles.
The safety features that will be mandatory in passenger cars in the European Union are:
- Advanced automatic emergency braking systems (AEB)
- Lane departure warning systems
- Intelligent speed assistance
- Alcohol interlock installation facilitation
- Driver drowsiness and attention warning
- Advanced driver distraction warning
- Emergency stop signal
- Reversing cameras or detectors
- Accident data recorder
Several of the systems, including AEB, are already widely available and are standard on many models sold in the region, in part because they are necessary for a car to score the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP safety tests.
With the above norms in place, the European Commission estimates that it could save more than 25,000 lives by 2038. Under the new rules, manufacturers will have to ensure the systems are developed in a way that ensures 'users accept them'.
In the Indian market, authorities have introduced a slew of norms to enhance vehicle safety and curb emissions. Here’s a round-up of the upcoming norms:
- April 1, 2019: Mandatory ABS in all passenger vehicles
- July 1, 2019: Standard driver airbag, speed alerts, seatbelt reminders and rear parking sensors.
- October 1, 2019: Crash test norms I (Full frontal impact at 48kph, frontal offset at 56kph and side at 50kph)
- April 1, 2020: BS-VI norms
- October 1, 2020: Pedestrian protection norms