EU Commission Strongly Committed to Increased Use of Driver Assistance Systems
Given the fact that vehicle technology and active safety technologies in particular have contributed and continue to contribute to improving road safety, the EU commission is strongly committed to the increased use of driver assistance systems and the potential compulsory installation of such systems in the future. This can be seen in its report to the European Parliament and the European Council (“Saving Lives: Boosting Car Safety in the EU”).
The report identifies four main areas with 19 specific measures to improve vehicle safety. Active safety measures, which can prevent accidents altogether rather than merely mitigating the outcome, are deemed to be the most important area. This area includes automatic emergency braking, intelligent speed adaptation, lane keep assistance and driver drowsiness and distraction monitoring.
Passive safety measures, which mitigate the outcome of accidents, include emergency braking displays (flashing stop lamps), seat belt reminders, frontal crash testing, side crash testing, rear crash testing, alcohol interlock device interface standardization, crash event data recorders and tire pressure monitoring.
The proposed measures to improve the safety of trucks and buses involve the introduction or improvement of front-end design and direct vision, truck and trailer rear underrun protection (rear bumper), lateral protection (side guards) and fire safety for buses.
Finally, measures for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists include: the introduction of pedestrian and cyclist detection (linked to automatic emergency braking systems), head impact protection on A-pillars and front windscreens and reversing (backing up) detection of persons behind vehicles.
In the report, the EU Commission also suggests that the availability of accurate and well-founded accident data from across the EU is improved. This type of data is a prerequisite for the development and monitoring of EU road safety policy. Specifically, the data is required to assess the effectiveness of the measures in terms of road and vehicle safety and to support the development of new measures.