EU lists 11 car safety systems to become mandatory from 2021

Autonomous braking and automatic speed limit assistance among compulsory features on all new vehicles

Tesla Autopilot
Tesla’s Model S is one of many new cars capable of autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
(Image credit: Tesla)

The EU Commission has ruled that 11 safety features including autonomous emergency braking will be mandatory on all new cars from 2021.

Along with AEB, which CarBuyer says is currently “an expensive option on many cars”, new vehicles must also be fitted with lane-keeping assistance, monitors to detect driver fatigue, and reversing cameras.

The move is aimed at drastically improving road safety, with the new rules expected to save around 7,300 lives and prevent 39,000 serious injuries between 2020 and 2030.

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Making AEB mandatory is key to safer driving, says Auto Express. The system, which automatically applies the brakes when a driver fails to react to an obstacle in the road, reportedly reduces rear-end collisions by 38%.

Meanwhile, reversing cameras, which have recently become standard fit on new cars sold in the US, are projected to save around 95 lives each year.

Although the majority of the mandated systems have been welcomed by road safety groups, Autocar reports that one of the features, intelligent speed assistance, has come under fire from some critics.

The system controls the speed of cars by scanning road signs “where possible”, the magazine says, but some people believe the feature is “the first step towards total governance of a car’s speed”.

The European Commission’s head of markets, Elzbieta Bienkowska, said autonomous safety systems were the next major step in reducing road accidents, 90% of which are caused by human error.

More mandatory safety features are expected to be revealed within the next few years.

The 11 safety features mandated from 2021

Advanced emergency braking

Alcohol interlock installation facilitation

Drowsiness and attention detection

Event (accident) data recorder

Emergency stop signal

Full-width frontal occupant protection crash test and improved seatbelts

Head impact zone enlargement for pedestrians and cyclists, as well as safety glass

Intelligent speed assistance

Lane keeping assist

Pole side impact occupant protection

Reversing camera or detection system

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