News

As Mercedes launches Europe’s first Level-3 automated vehicle system, it’s time for an EU crash investigation authority

As Mercedes launches Europe’s first Level-3 automated vehicle system, it’s time for an EU crash investigation authority

ETSC is repeating its call for the setting up of an EU road collision investigation authority to conduct forensic analysis of crashes involving automated vehicles on EU roads. The call follows the announcement yesterday by Mercedes-Benz of the German launch of ‘Drive Pilot’, a system that allows for hands-off automated driving in traffic at speeds up to 60 km/h on German motorways.  This is the first approval of a Level 3 automated driving system for use in Europe. Such systems can drive without driver […]

Euro NCAP criticises Renault for downgrading safety in new electric models

Euro NCAP criticises Renault for downgrading safety in new electric models

The consumer safety rating organisation Euro NCAP has heavily criticised Renault, once a leader on vehicle safety, for downgrading safety on its Zoe electric model and the release of the Dacia Spring which has crash test performance described as “downright problematic, with a high risk of life-threatening injuries”.  The car received just one star for its “mediocre crash performance”. In general, electric and hybrid models have fared well in recent Euro NCAP crash safety tests with the vast majority of those tested in the […]

Intelligent Speed Assistance specifications officially published

Intelligent Speed Assistance specifications officially published

The world’s first regulatory standard for Intelligent Speed Assistance technology has been published in the official journal of the European Union, the final legal step before mandatory fitment in new types of vehicle from next July. ETSC is calling on vehicle manufacturers to go beyond the minimum requirements of the legislation to maximise the huge potential safety benefits of the technology. By next year, the European Union will have, by far, the most stringent vehicle safety standards in the world with systems including Advanced […]

Digital mapmaker launches Intelligent Speed Assistance map tool

Digital mapmaker launches Intelligent Speed Assistance map tool

HERE Technologies, a digital mapping provider, has launched an “ISA Map” specifically designed to help vehicle manufacturers deliver accurate Intelligent Speed Assistance systems, required on new models sold in the EU from next year. ISA can use traffic sign recognition and / or digital speed limit maps linked to a vehicle’s GPS location to help the driver stick to the local speed limit.  HERE says for an optimal experience a detailed map with correct speed limit information is crucial and says its ISA map […]

Dutch data extraction breakthrough could lead to better road crash investigations

Dutch data extraction breakthrough could lead to better road crash investigations

The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), a Dutch government institution, says it is the first research organisation to successfully read and publish the encoded driving data stored in Tesla vehicles, beyond what is available via the Event Data Recorder (EDR). The results, which have already been presented at a conference, could help independent researchers around the world better understand the role driver assistance systems such as Tesla “Autopilot” may or may not play in collisions. Tesla has cooperated with investigators, including the US National Transport Safety […]

New tests show AEB systems need to work better in wet, fog and low light situations

A study of automated emergency braking systems (AEBS) on passenger cars by ETSC’s Austrian and Swiss members KFV and BFU, shows that significant improvements need to be made to performance in rain, fog, and poor light conditions. The organisations carried out more than 200 tests to better reflect the range of real world conditions such as rainy weather, fog and poor light conditions, and by varying the test dummies and speeds compared to tests carried out by Euro NCAP who award star ratings for […]

US authorities begin investigation of Level 2 driver assistance systems

US authorities begin investigation of Level 2 driver assistance systems

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun a wide-ranging investigation of the safety of driver assistance systems prompted by several collisions involving cars that had driver assistance systems activated and emergency service vehicles. NHTSA initially sent a letter to Tesla last month requiring the company to provide extensive data on usage and operation of its so-called Autopilot system by 22 October. The agency has since widened the scope of its investigation and sent requests to 12 other car manufacturers requesting data about […]

Intelligent Speed Assistance set for launch on all new EU vehicle types from 2022

Intelligent Speed Assistance set for launch on all new EU vehicle types from 2022

ETSC has welcomed endorsement by EU Member States of technical standards for Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), paving the way for the technology to be installed on all new models of vehicle sold in the European Union from next year.  ETSC is calling on vehicle manufacturers to go beyond the minimum requirements of the legislation to maximise the huge potential safety benefits of the technology. By next year, the European Union will have, by far, the most stringent vehicle safety standards in the world with […]

Max Mosley (1940 – 2021)

Max Mosley (1940 – 2021)

ETSC was sorry to hear of the passing of Max Mosley earlier this month. Mr Mosley was instrumental in getting Euro NCAP, the consumer vehicle safety testing organisation, off the ground in the late nineties and acted as its first President from 1997 until 2004. Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen said “With his enormous influence, commanding personality and intellect, Max knew how to turn advocacy into action.  He put vehicle safety front and centre in the automotive industry and today his legacy […]

Member States warned on need for access to in-vehicle crash data

Member States warned on need for access to in-vehicle crash data

ETSC, together with a coalition of organisations, has written to EU Member State representatives to outline concerns over specifications for in-vehicle Electronic Data Recorders which will be mandatory in the EU starting from 2022. The issue relates to the need to record location, date and time events on the devices.  Such information is critical to road safety researchers and in-depth collision  investigations, which, as in the aviation sector, can be used to help prevent a similar situation occurring in the future. While robust data […]

Parliament wants all motorcycles to be subject to regular technical checks

Parliament wants all motorcycles to be subject to regular technical checks

The European Parliament is urging the European Commission to consider mandating regular technical inspections for all motorcycles in all EU Member States when vehicle roadworthiness rules are revised in 2023.  Only motorcycles above 125cc are required to be checked under rules on regular technical inspections today, though many EU member states require checks on such vehicles anyway. In a report approved by the Parliament’s online plenary session on 3 March, parliamentarians set out a number of changes they would like to see that would […]

Berlin, Paris and London demand safer trucks

Berlin, Paris and London demand safer trucks

A group of European cities, including Berlin, Paris and London, have called on their national governments to address truck blind spots that put pedestrians and cyclists’ lives at risk. The cities call for an ambitious direct vision standard for trucks which would greatly improve road safety, particularly for vulnerable road users. This year national governments are due to pass a direct vision standard for trucks at the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) which should be applied across the European Union from 2026 thanks […]

MEPs urged to prevent weakening of Intelligent Speed Assistance requirements

MEPs urged to prevent weakening of Intelligent Speed Assistance requirements

ETSC, together with a coalition of organisations, has written to members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) with a call to prevent the weakening of the minimum requirements for Intelligent Speed Assistance technology. The European Union agreed last year that all new cars, vans, lorries and buses should be fitted as standard with a range of new vehicle safety technologies, starting in 2022.  The measures are predicted to prevent 25,000 road deaths within fifteen years, according to analysis […]

US study says vehicle choice and crash differences help explain greater injury risks for women

US study says vehicle choice and crash differences help explain greater injury risks for women

Women are much more likely than men to suffer a serious injury when they are involved in a crash, but much of the heightened risk is related to the types of vehicles women drive and the circumstances of their crashes, rather than physical differences. That is the conclusion of new research carried out by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Though men are involved in more fatal crashes than women, on a per-crash basis women are 20-28 percent more likely than men […]

How will the future UK-EU relationship impact road safety?

How will the future UK-EU relationship impact road safety?

The transition period is over and a deal has been done.  What will the implications be for road safety regulation and cooperation now that the UK has left the EU and a new trade deal has been signed? The biggest changes are where no agreement was reached and/or EU rules no longer apply to the UK. The EU legislation on cross-border enforcement of traffic offences no longer applies, meaning the UK is not able to easily follow-up on traffic penalties such as speeding tickets […]

Level 2 driver assistance systems need review

Level 2 driver assistance systems need review

ETSC has reiterated calls for regulators to look again at the safety of vehicles with Level 2 assistance systems as carmakers increase pressure to allow such systems to be operated “hands off”. In a letter to the Financial Times, published in January, ETSC wrote that it is not clear what effect these new technologies are having on road death and injury numbers because crash investigations almost never take into account if such systems were functional at the time of a collision. However, forensic investigations […]

Euro NCAP calls for bigger focus on van safety with launch of new rating programme

Euro NCAP calls for bigger focus on van safety with launch of new rating programme

Euro NCAP, the consumer car safety rating organisation, says businesses should avoid buying several models of new vans including the FIAT Talento, Opel/Vauxhall Movano, Nissan NV400, Renault Master and Renault Trafic, due to poor safety ratings in its newly launched van rating scheme. Fourteen commercial vans qualified for an award by Euro NCAP under new criteria that prioritise crash avoidance and driver assistance systems.  Nineteen vans, covering 98 percent of European sales last year, were tested in accordance with Euro NCAP 2018 Safety Assist […]

UK government will only buy five star Euro NCAP-rated cars

UK government will only buy five star Euro NCAP-rated cars

New mandatory public procurement guidelines issued by the UK government require central government departments and their related organisations to purchase vehicles with a minimum of a valid five star Euro NCAP safety rating. The welcome move is the first European national government-wide procurement policy that ETSC is aware of that requires the five star rating.  A 2017 ETSC report on work-related road safety highlighted the examples of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency and the Swedish Transport Administration who both set the five-star standard for […]

ETSC’s priorities for the Portuguese presidency of the EU

ETSC’s priorities for the Portuguese presidency of the EU

Portugal took over the EU Presidency on 1 January 2021 as the EU continues to grapple with the Covid-19 crisis, which has brought additional challenges for transport and mobility policies.  In a new briefing, ETSC has outlined its recommendations on the key EU road safety policy dossiers to be steered by the Portuguese Presidency over the next six months. The issues covered include the new sustainable and smart mobility strategy, EU-Africa cooperation on road safety, the urban mobility package, opportunities for transport safety funding […]

Europe exports millions of old, dangerous cars to Africa – UN report

Europe exports millions of old, dangerous cars to Africa – UN report

Millions of old, polluting and unsafe cars are being exported from richer regions to African nations every year, according to a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme. Used Vehicles and the Environment – A Global Overview of Used Light Duty Vehicles: Flow, Scale and Regulation, the first-ever report of its kind, calls for action to fill the current policy vacuum with the adoption of harmonised minimum quality standards that will ensure used vehicles contribute to cleaner, safer fleets in importing countries. The […]

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