July 6th 2022 – Vehicle safety in Europe takes a giant leap forward

July 6th 2022 – Vehicle safety in Europe takes a giant leap forward

New models of car, van, lorry and bus launched on to the EU/EEA market from tomorrow (6 July) must be fitted as standard with an array of new vehicle safety technologies.  The European Transport Safety Council welcomes this milestone but says standards for two of the new technologies are too weak and need to be urgently reviewed.

In particular, ETSC says that the minimum standards for Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) could lead to manufacturers building cars with an ISA system that has limited safety benefits and annoys drivers.  That is because the minimum legal specification allows for a warning-only system that features an annoying audible beep, potentially combined with inaccurate speed information due to systems that use only a camera-based sign recognition system with no backup in the form of a digital map of speed limit locations.

See ETSC’s article “Will Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) live up to its promise?

ETSC has also warned that the final technical standards for in-vehicle ‘black boxes’, also known as Electronic Data Recorders (EDRs) will leave the devices virtually useless to safety researchers.  That’s because the specifications prohibit the recording of time, date and location information – which is essential to reconstructing the facts of a vehicle collision.  ETSC says that the specifications for EDRs must be revised as soon as possible.

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC commented:

“July 6th is a giant leap forward for vehicle safety in Europe which will lead to thousands of lives saved in the future.  But despite this big win for road safety, there are a couple of own-goals.

“Intelligent Speed Assistance, one of the life-saving systems with the most potential, has been severely weakened, and the new in-vehicle black boxes will be virtually useless to safety researchers.

“Vehicle safety is constantly moving forward, and there is no reason why these standards can’t be reviewed and updated in the near future.  We think that is essential.”

ETSC breaks down the full list of mandatory safety technologies that will now need to be fitted on new vehicles in the twitter thread below:

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