Report outlines 19 new measures that could become compulsory on all new cars
Jimi Beckwith
21 December 2016

The European Commission has targeted 19 technologies it wishes to be mandatory on new cars, in order to reduce the number of road fatalities to fewer than 15,000 per year by 2020.

Autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning systems are at the top of the Commission’s mandatory wish list, as it aims to move the car safety priority from mitigating the outcome of a crash to endeavouring to avoid it altogether. Lane keep assist and automatic emergency braking systems are already mandatory on buses and HGVs under European law. A slew of safety measures are also targeted for these.

Read about the latest NCAP results from late 2016

The number of fatalities recorded on European roads was 26,120 in 2015, having decreased from 35,360 in 2009 and 76,650 in 1990. Despite the large overall decrease, the numbers are falling more slowly as time passes, leading the commission to become more active in its pursuit of mandatory safety features.

The increased demand for SUVs is addressed in the report, which states that safety measures need to be looked at given ‘the proliferation of SUVs with higher centres of gravity, higher masses and aggressive front-end design’.

Also proposed by the Commission is the introduction of brake lights which flash when the car is performing an emergency braking manoeuvre, as well as seat belt reminders and tyre pressure monitoring among the list of passive safety measures.

Read more: Toyota Prius receives first NCAP autonomous braking safety rating

The Commission aims to have intelligent speed adaption, lane keep assistance and driver drowsiness and distraction monitoring mandatory within the next five years too, among the active safety measures it has planned. It's the first time autonomous systems have been considered for mandatory fit, and to many will represent the first legislative step on the path to autonomy. 

Vulnerable road users, such as children and the elderly, as well as more commonly injured users like cyclists, are to be given special consideration under the new safety measures, with the latter already under action in London, as the city moves to ban ‘Blind spot lorries’

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Comments
17

21 December 2016
Cars are already fitted with headlights, benefiting safety in two ways: 1) the car driver can see others at night and b) others can see the car at night. So why are so many cars moving around with just one of the two required headlights working? So my idea, enforce the basic safety laws we have already (stop the car and don't allow it to move until it has two working headlights). Idea number two: use more ANPR traps to catch drivers without an MoT and/or insurance, then always scrap the car on the spot, no excuses and whoever or whatever has legal ownership - let the driver sort that out.

Simple really and without the need for technological blind-alleys.

21 December 2016
I cannot disagree that these things should be enforced better, I am not sure that your suggestions actually do anything to reduce road fatalities. Just because a car may not have a valid MOT does in itself not make the vehicle any more dangerous than one with an MOT. All an MOT proves is that the car passed as being road worthy on the day it was checked. Crushing any car which is driven by a thief seems an extreme thing to do too.

21 December 2016
"Vulnerable road users, such as children and the elderly, as well as more commonly injured users like cyclists, are to be given special consideration under the new safety measures"

How about pedestrians not wearing black only? How about reflective/flashing/easily seen accents or colours, being discussed in the reports/future recommendations, so that drivers have a chance to see pedestrians before they emerge from the shadows in winter and then blindly walk across the road at the last second.

Previously I lived in San Francisco where pedestrians applied the "I have right of way" rule everywhere making cars brake at the last second if need be... this type of thinking may occur less in Europe with its more pedestrian based cities, but this "me first" attitude does make driving in cities more challenging and making cars more safety featured, with additional costs and weight will not always provide the answer.

Just my thoughts and 2 cents worth...

21 December 2016
mx5xm wrote:

but this "me first" attitude does make driving in cities more challenging and making cars more safety featured, with additional costs and weight will not always provide the answer.

You think it is pedestrians with a "me first" attitude problem? You poor deluded soul...

Citroëniste.

22 December 2016
Bob,
Deluded? No, just what I experienced. I did clearly mention having experienced this first hand in SF and I heard this expressed by many a person that they thought pedestrians had right of way, all the time. Even where no clearly marked crossing existed.

I didn't say it was a "pedestrians with a "me first" attitude problem". Most problems have more than one contributing factor so need to be tackled from more than one angle.

21 December 2016
mx5xm wrote:

"Vulnerable road users, such as children and the elderly, as well as more commonly injured users like cyclists, are to be given special consideration under the new safety measures"

How about pedestrians not wearing black only? How about reflective/flashing/easily seen accents or colours, being discussed in the reports/future recommendations, so that drivers have a chance to see pedestrians before they emerge from the shadows in winter and then blindly walk across the road at the last second.

Previously I lived in San Francisco where pedestrians applied the "I have right of way" rule everywhere making cars brake at the last second if need be... this type of thinking may occur less in Europe with its more pedestrian based cities, but this "me first" attitude does make driving in cities more challenging and making cars more safety featured, with additional costs and weight will not always provide the answer.

Just my thoughts and 2 cents worth...

How about those in control of the lethal weapon (the car) drive in manner appropriate to the conditions they find themselves in, that way they may not hit any of these stupid people who are simply going about their business without having to dress like they've just walked off a construction site.

22 December 2016
I agree.
But you can't always lay the blame at every drivers feet. Not every car driver is a speed demon, incompetent mobile phone tapping idiot, easily distracted driving. Most drivers are also just going about their daily business. Pick up the kids, do the shopping, visit elderly parents etc.
Even driving safely within the speed limit you find people not even bothering to look when crossing, which is especially dangerous now in winter at busy downtown/shopping areas.
Responsibility must come from all road users.

21 December 2016
lane departure warning - no thanks! if there is no off button it will be option 1, pull a fuse, option 2 find the beeper and pull the plug. Lane keep assist system along with adaptive cruise will just mean more bored people messing with phones or dozing off at the wheel as they are required to concentrate less. I have endless car cam footage of bored truck drivers sitting on the speed limiter obviously dozing as they drift on and off the hard shoulder.

21 December 2016
I think these proposals have more to do with successful lobbying by suppliers like Bosch, which stands to make big profits, than with reducing fatalities. But in any event, aren't seat belt reminders and tyre pressure monitoring already compulsory fitments in new cars?

21 December 2016
Lane departure warning - I'm sure like many others mine is turned off because it bleeps several times a minute. Not only does this distract / annoy me, it causes me to take my eyes off the road to see which of the various warnings is being shown.

Blind spot monitor? Now that's a whole different ballgame and is one of the few 'newer' technology developments that actually works.

I must say though that the EU is talking about all these safety measures yet they allow cars to have the most complicated touch-screens? Talk about hypocrisy.

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