Safer roads and (probably) more expensive vehicles

In three years, all new cars sold in Europe must come standard with at least 11 different safety systems including an “intelligent speed assistance” system. That system will be paired with traffic-sign recognition and will automatically set a car’s maximum speed based on the current speed limit on any given road. That means that by 2021 it may be impossible to break the speed limit. And, while that may be the most invasive of the 11 systems, it’s only the tip of the iceberg and a preview of how moderated driving will be in the very near future.

EU Car Safety Rules for 2021

EU Commission to Implement 11 Mandatory Car Safety Features, Including One That Prevents Speeding
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These systems will also be paired with data accident recorders, emergency stop signal, and some passive safety

It’s not just intelligent speed assistance that the EU Commission has made mandatory for new cars from 2021 on. There’s a whole list that includes some basic systems like lane keep assist, a reverse camera, and automatic emergency braking – systems that are starting to be offered as standard equipment or cheaper add-ons by several manufacturers. Other systems, however, push things to the next level. I’m talking about an alcohol interlock installation facilitation, making in-car breathalyzers as close to plug-and-play as possible and built-in drowsiness and attention detection – a feature that you probably recognize from a majority of automakers, including cars from Ford, BMW, Audi, Hyundai, and Volvo, among others.

These systems will also be paired with data accident recorders, emergency stop signal, and some passive safety features like improved seatbelts, safety glass, pole side impact protection, and there’s also a new full-width frontal occupant protection crash test in the works as well.

Why is the EU Forcing Automakers to Include More Safety Systems

EU Commission to Implement 11 Mandatory Car Safety Features, Including One That Prevents Speeding
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If the EU decides to make alcohol interlocks mandatory equipment in the future, it could even put an end to driving under the influence entirely.

The truth of the matter is that cars kill, and we all make mistakes and bad decisions. The idea is to prevent as many deaths as possible and increase overall road safety – at least until driverless cars can take over and human driving is banned altogether. If the EU decides to make alcohol interlocks mandatory equipment in the future, it could even put an end to driving under the influence entirely. Keep in mind that the EU already has stiffer rules on intoxicated driving than we do here in the U.S., so this isn’t outside the realm of possibility in the very near future.

Like It or Not, This is a Good Thing

EU Commission to Implement 11 Mandatory Car Safety Features, Including One That Prevents Speeding
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The inclusion of these systems, and the systems we don’t have yet, as mandatory equipment could increase the cost of even economy-minded vehicles.

I like spirited driving as much as the next man, so the thought of being physically unable to break the speed limit certainly ruffles my feathers a bit. Not that I drive around like an Audi driver all of the time, but like most people, I tend to creep past the highway speed limits, to a reasonable extent, from time to time. Be that as it may, all of these systems will improve safety dramatically. And, as someone who’s driven on European roads in the past, I can tell you that it’s just as bad there as it is here in the States – people speed and some do it quite excessively.

EU Commission to Implement 11 Mandatory Car Safety Features, Including One That Prevents Speeding
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The inclusion of things like safety glass, pole side impact protection, emergency braking, and even emergency stop signals are all just as important. Humans make errors, so until AI has been perfected and human drivers are banned altogether, accidents are going to happen even if they increasingly become rarer over time. Having these systems in place will help cut back on the potential for severe injury or loss of life in a significant way.

The caveat to these new rules is that a lot of these systems – the ones that are already available, anyway – are usually available in add-on packages that tack on thousands to the entry-level price of most cars. That means the inclusion of these systems, and the systems we don’t have yet, as mandatory equipment could increase the cost of even economy-minded vehicles. So, what do you think about these new rules in Europe? If you’re located here in the States, what do you think about the high probability that the same rules could make their way here in the near future? Will they make the roads safer, and will they cause a significant increase in the price of new cars? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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