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Technology to improve new vehicle safety outlined by European Commission

Date: 20 December 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The European Commission (EC) has hinted that 19 safety technologies could be made mandatory over the next decade as part of the European Union's next update to vehicle safety rules.

Technologies touted for approval include autonomous emergency braking systems, active lane keeping assist functions and seat-belt reminders for all passengers.

Following on from the Commission's report, an impact assessment around the proposed safety measures will be carried out and the proposals will be put under consultation

Should the technology prove to be cost effective and beneficial, the Commission will then move forward to make the systems mandatory.

Previously, the European Union has ensured that systems such as ISOFIX child car seat mounting points and tyre pressure monitoring systems became compulsory in November 2014. Furthermore, lane departure warnings on trucks and buses became compulsory fitment in November 2015.

Under the EC's timelines, the next tranche of rules would be introduced from 2020 for new vehicle type approvals and 2030 for new vehicle registrations.

The EC claims these aids have saved 50,000 lives a year across Europe.

Antonio Avenoso, executive director of independent road safety body the European Transport Safety Council welcomed the proposals, but said more could be done to further reduce casualties on the roads. He also said that more advanced systems could be mandated and in a shorter timescale than what is proposed.

"These long-overdue changes are a step in the right direction for road safety in Europe.  But giving the industry fourteen years to implement some of the measures is incomprehensible, especially in light of the recent lack of progress in reducing deaths," said Avenoso. "There is also a sense of a growing inequality in road safety.  With these proposals, drivers of more affordable vehicles will have to wait almost a decade to get guaranteed access to life-saving technologies that are available today on more expensive cars.