Will Your Car Be Safer in 2021?
'Vision Zero' was the name given to the EU's commitment for no fatalities to occur on Europe's roads by 2050. The European Commission has announced 12 key safety features they would like to be made compulsory on all new cars to get one step closer to achieving this goal.
The European commission believe making certain safety features standard on all new vehicles from 2021 will save somewhere in the region of 7,300 lives in the first 10 years and prevent 38,900 serious injuries on roads across Europe.
The safety technology proposed includes;
- Advanced Emergency Braking
- Alcohol Interlock Installation Facilitation
- Drowsiness and Attention Detection
- Accident Data Recovery
- Emergency Stop Signal
- Full-width frontal occupant protection crash test (improved seatbelts)
- Head impact zone enlargement for pedestrians and cyclists, safety glass in case of a crash
- Intelligent speed assistance
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Pole side impact occupant protection
- Reversing camera or detection system
- Distraction recognition/prevention
All of the safety features proposed are commercially available, but many are only as options on new cars and some you may not have even heard of.
Advanced Emergency Braking is already on a large proportion of new vehicles. It will monitor the road ahead and apply the brakes automatically if the driver fails to brake enough when approaching a vehicle ahead. Lane Keep Assist is also very familiar and will warn the driver if they are straying out of their lane. Distraction and Drowsiness monitors are similarly already installed on many cars and will monitor the driver's behaviour to detect any changes that would indicate a loss of focus on driving and give alerts to regain control or take a break.
One lessor known feature to be incorporated is the Alcohol Interlock Installation Facilitation, which will require a sample of alcohol free breath before the vehicle will turn on. It is proposed that all new vehicles are made to be compatible with this technology. However, only drivers who have received a ban would have the device fitted in their car.
Additionally, an Accident Data Recorder is being proposed to be installed on every vehicle. The idea is, that then when an incident has occurred the data can be gathered to inform future safety initiatives to reduce accidents on the road.
"90% of road accidents are due to human error. The new mandatory safety features we propose today will reduce the number of accidents and pave the way for a driverless future of connected and automated driving." - Elizbieta Bienkowsta, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME's
Interestingly Intelligent Speed Assist is being put forward to be included on every vehicle, but drivers will be able to override the system. In this, traffic sign recognition and the speed limiter will be used to ensure the speed limit is not broken. However, if a driver wants to go faster the system can be turned off at the push of a button.
You may believe that all this new safety technology will come at a cost to the consumer, but the European Commission conducted an analysis which showed there should not be a significant impact on the cost of new vehicles.
The UK Government has not yet made an announcement as to whether it will be adopting the Commission's proposals or not.
What do you think? Should these safety features be standard features of all new cars?
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