Currently reading: GSR2: The new rules making cars safer but more expensive
Twenty technologies now standard on new cars; existing models must comply by 2024

New safety regulations introduced last month have made at least 20 technologies standard on all new cars sold in the EU and the UK – and will legislate some out of existence.

The new arsenal of standard safety equipment, brought in under the anonymously titled General Safety Regulations 2 (GSR2), will also add more costs to cheaper cars, likely increasing their prices.

The changes had been in discussion at the UN and the EU for a decade before the EU finalised its proposals in 2019.

They’re being introduced in two main phases. The first went live on 6 July and the second will come in 2024, although some technologies are on a slightly different timetable.

2 Toyota gr86 2022 rear tracking

That means all new cars launched after 6 July 2022, regardless of price or engineering suitability, have to comply; and in 2024, existing cars already on the market will have to be modified or retrofitted to stay on sale.

This retrofitting is what will kill off the Toyota GR86. The camera needed for intelligent speed assistance (ISA) and emergency lane-keeping system (ELKS) can’t easily be built into the car’s architecture, which was carried over from the Toyota GT86, designed more than a decade ago.

“We would have to raise the roof and move the windscreen to accommodate the camera,” said Toyota, which announced the GR86’s short European-market lifespan of just two years at its launch.

The insurance and safety industry, of course, is much more sanguine about the introduction of GSR2.

“This is essentially tidying up existing laws and an update of GSR1, which has been around since 1998, especially since many of these new safety features are already incorporated into existing Euro NCAP [safety] ratings,” said Matthew Avery, boss of UK insurance-and-safety organisation Thatcham Research and a senior Euro NCAP team member.

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The motive behind GSR2 is an EU push to halve the number of road deaths by 2020 and “move close to” zero road deaths by 2050.

The car industry says that it makes safety a priority, but there remains concern within it about the rigidity of the regulations as applied to certain car classes and the EU’s unwillingness to adjust its timetable to fit with model-cycle changes and the global cycle of safety laws.

Ford’s head of homologation, Douwe Cunningham, agreed that there were “no surprises” with some of the technology, like advanced emergency braking (AEB) and the ISA warning system, because they were already part of NCAP.

But there’s a belief that the EU is pushing some of the hardware beyond its reliable use in day-to-day service.

Cunningham raised the question of ISA’s reliability, given that it relies on cameras reading road signs that in many countries are badly maintained, absent and difficult to detect.

4 Ford puma 2022 front quarter tracking

The EU regulation also allows for GPS-based speed limit warnings, which rely on perfect mapping accuracy.

Therefore manufacturers that want to make the best offerings for their customers, like Ford, feel obliged to offer both systems; but on more affordable cars, that means more parts costs added on.

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There are also big-brother elements in the regulations. For example, the driver drowsiness warning will from 2024 be handled by an in-car infrared camera, always focused on the driver’s face, to detect eye movements.

GSR2 is now on the statute books and therefore a legal requirement, but whether it will actually be effective in reducing road deaths, only time will tell.

Q&A: Expert engineers from Horiba MIRA

We spoke to three experts from Horiba MIRA: Ashley Patton (ADAS and CAV chief engineer), David Inch (certification and homologation) and Aaron Mandalia (CAV solution leader).

How extensive is GSR2?

“It’s a massive list of 100 or so regulations, depending on vehicle category. Some are amendments, but we’ve identified about 20 to 25 items that are new, where we need to improve our capability out to 2024.”

What’s the aim?

“It’s not inventing a lot from scratch, because many of the features have been around in some form. The EU is trying to create some consistency so that everyone is taking the same approach. That’s welcome.”

How will it affect planning?

“Manufacturers will be debating whether to continue a product by improving it or let it die in July 2024. Those decisions will mostly have been made in strategy, because the timescales aren’t massive.”

6 Hyundai i10 2020 front quarter tracking corner

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How about small cars?

“They’re definitely impacted as high-volume, low-margin vehicles. Adding extra features adds costs, so the manufacturer either has to increase price or consider whether that vehicle is worth selling any more.”

Surely it will be difficult to retrofit features to existing cars by 2024?

“As GSR2 moves to existing products, yes, you probably will see lots disappearing off the market.”

What about integration into the vehicle?

“Manufacturers will have to consider whether it’s worth updating vehicles with older electric architectures, where this technology isn’t fitted because it wasn’t needed for an NCAP safety rating, to comply with GSR2."

How many vehicle categories are affected?

“It’s not just cars: the ethic of GSR2 is to apply it as widely as possible to as many vehicle categories as they can, so that’s buses, trucks, vans, fire engines – all vehicles, really.”

The safety tech now standard for all new cars:

7 Generic render gsr2 safety side static

Advanced emergency braking: Now includes new calibration.

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Alcohol interlock: Provision for this until a reliable sensor can be developed.

Driver drowsiness distraction: Will move to advanced infrared camera tech in 2024.

Electronic data recorder: Better-known as a black box. Harmonised with US regulations.

Emergency lane-keeping system: Steers car away from crossing the road’s central white line.

Intelligent speed adaptation: Warns driver of speed limit. Could overrule the driver in the future.

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The Colonel 9 August 2022

"There are also big-brother elements in the regulations. For example, the driver drowsiness warning will from 2024 be handled by an in-car infrared camera, always focused on the driver’s face, to detect eye movements."

Why, Julian Rendell, would that be a "big-brother" element?  What does the camera do?  It's IR.  It's not watching eye movements, as you assert.  What's the best way to detect if someone's eyes close - beyond a momentary blink?  Have you seen the temperature difference between eyes and skin through an IR detector?  It's the movement, or lack of, one's eyelids that the IR camera will detect, not movements (perhaps you're self-reflecting on a bit of drive-by perving?)

How is an IR image in any way "big-brother" even assuming that the image would be outwardly accessible, for which there's no requirement in the regulations. 

Your Pornhub account history must be freaky.

The Colonel 9 August 2022

I'm certain that if there was a venn diagram of man babies that whine about the kinds of systems being deployed through this, and other, legislation, and of the man babies that whine about constantly having to watch the speedo, the venn diagram would, in fact, be a perfect circle.  They wouldn't understand it, but neither would they get the contradiction, either.

It's a shame that it takes legislation, from the EU, UK, US, wherever, to make manufacturers and, to some extent, users, design, build, and behave a certain way.  Alas, but for that, we could all drive around in cars without seatbelts, rusting apart at the seams, ready to lose a wheel at any moment, killing pedestrians at tragically low speed, while managing a heady 7mpg.

Oh wait, no, manufacturers do have to be pulled kicking and screaming to do the right thing, make vehicles safe (for all road users), efficient, and durable, and users even have to follow rules so they don't become self-inflicted drooling imbeciles, with or without a keyboard.

But, eveyone needs a bogeyman, I suppose.

artill 9 August 2022

I have no problem with safety systems, as long as they work as intended, dont make mistakes, and dont go wrong reducing vehicle life. But they should remain on the option list for those who want them.


Andrew1 9 August 2022
No, they should be mandatory. Let me give you an example.

You, your wife and two children are travelling in your car. A vehicle approaches from the other direction. Its driver is distracted, or maybe had some drinks, enters your side of the road and kills your entire family.
This could have been completely averted if the oncoming vehicle had driver attention and intoxication detection, or lane keeping assistance.

Example 2: your child crosses the road on green light, oncoming driver is busy checking his phone and sends your child 2m up in the air. This could have been averted with attention detection safety feature, traffic lights recognition and automatic breaking.

Remember: the safety features are not just to help the passengers in the car fitted with them, but also to help innocents in other vehicles, or pedestrians.

tkemp22 10 August 2022

Example 1 could be avoided by the ass-hat in question not drinking when they know they have to drive home. It's not hard. I never EVER have an alcoholic beverage at all if I'm going to be driving afterwards. Also, the distraction: don't use your effing phone whilst driving, the car shouldn't have to prevent that. Again, not rocket science. Most cars now have Android Auto or Carplay capabilities. There is literally no reason whatsoever to touch your phone when driving. 

It is the responsibility of the driver to maintain control and focus.

Example 2: the child should be watching out for and aware of road users regardless of whether the crossing says it is safe to do so. For a pedestrian to be hit by a car at a crossing they must not have checked that their path was clear before they entered the road way.


All these 'safety' systems do is take responsibility away from the driver and place it on the car's systems. Systems are just as fallible as people, sometimes more so. The software is only as good as the programmer that wrote it (I'm a software engineer by trade). My 2018 Mondeo has lane keep, driver drowsiness detection, auto-city stop and speed sign recognition.

The lane keep was turned off ASAP as it was uselss during motorway roadworks and kept 'tugging' at the wheel as it thought it was too close to the lines of the narrow lanes.

Driver drowsiness has been triggered multiple times when I've been at my most alert and hasn't been triggered when I've legitimitely felt borderline safe to drive.

The auto-city stop gets auto-disabled if it feels the sensor is too dirty (happens a lot in winter) plus has triggered in error several times. 

Speed sign recognition is garbage and has multiple times put the wrong speed limit or not detected a change in speed limit.


So yeah, you rely on your car's systems all you want. I'll rely on my own alertness and training/experience as a driver (not a single point on my license or RTA in 15 years of driving)

si73 10 August 2022
All very commendable, but nothing helps until all older non equipped cars are removed from the roads, as all these scenarios can happen irrespective of whether or not you are affluent enough to own a new car, there are still loads of 90s stuff in daily use and some older still, though most older is more cherished than daily I'd guess.