The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) will impose a range of new safety features for all new cars, including mandatory speed limiters and data loggers, following approval by a group of key MEPs.
The Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) systems will use GPS or traffic sign recognition cameras to local speed limits and limit a vehicle’s speed to within that. Initially, it is likely to be a feature that can easily be turned off, with a view to becoming a more permanent system. Drivers are able to override the system by pushing hard on the accelerator, by the ETSC recommends that if a driver remains over the speed limit for several seconds, audio and visual warnings will activate until their speed is reduced.
The ETSC says that mandatory speed limiters could reduce traffic collisions by 30% and save 25,000 lives within 15 years of being introduced.
Other new safety measures that have been proposed include data loggers, lane-keep assist, autonomous emergency braking, driver drowsiness warning systems and hardware that allows an alcohol interlock (a device that makes the driver pass a breath test before starting the vehicle) to be fitted at a later date.
Under the proposal, all new cars sold from 2022 will be required to have the safety features in place. The new rules will be applied to cars sold in the EU. The Vehicle Certification Agency, which approves cars for use in the UK, has said it plans to implement similar rules post-Brexit.