Safety in European roads today
The protection and safety of drivers and passengers inside vehicles, as well as users of public spaces, is a subject at the heart of discussions inside the European Union. In recent years, advances in car, truck and bus safety have contributed to an overall decrease in the number of traffic accidents. However, according to the European Union, more than 25,000 people died on European roads in 2017, and more than 135,000 were seriously injured, a number that has remained unchanged for the past four years.
What steps is the EU taking to improve road safety?
The EU puts in place different measures to reduce or eliminate road accidents. In addition to existing safety measures to protect vehicle occupants, specific measures are needed to prevent deaths and injuries to road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians. Without new initiatives on road safety, the current approach is no longer sufficient to compensate the effects of increased traffic volume. Therefore, the level of vehicle safety must continue to improve as part of a global approach to road safety, to strengthen the protection of users on roads and public spaces.
The European Regulation 2019/2144 comes to light.
On November 27, 2019, the European Union issued Regulation 2019/2144. Its objective is to update the requirements for motor vehicles and trailers, as well as systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, in regard to their general safety, and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users. In addition to security measures to protect occupants inside vehicles, the European Union has addressed the issue from a point of view that includes people safety both inside and outside vehicles. In this sense, it tries to ensure the safety of both passengers and drivers, as well as pedestrians and cyclists.
What should I include in my vehicle?
According to Regulation 2019/2144, for a vehicle to be marketed in the European Union from 2022, it must include the following systems:
- Breathalyzer, or alcohol detector
- Emergency braking signal
- Intelligent speed assistant
- Lane departure warning system
- Event recorder
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Driver status monitoring system
- Blind spot detection system
- Advanced distraction recognition
- Reverse detection system
Some key dates to keep in mind
Regarding the calendar related to the EU Regulation 2019/2144, we find the following key dates:
- In 2013 there was already a first attempt to implement emergency braking systems in trucks and buses. However, due to consequences related to the financial crisis in 2007, many projects were put on hold.
- In 2019 the directive was approved, ratifying the intention to implement such safety systems in vehicles.
- As of 2022, all new vehicles that are homologated must include the above-mentioned security systems.
- 2024 will be the deadline year for vehicles in the market to adapt and incorporate these security systems.
- By 2026 additional security systems will be implemented.
Following the previous dates, we can see how safety systems will begin to be mandatory moving forward. We will start to see more and more vehicles equipped with these types of solutions. Shortly, all new vehicles will incorporate them.
What type of systems are available today?
Driver Status Monitor (DSM) systems, help avoid accidents due to distraction or drowsiness.
The Driver Status Monitoring is a new camera-based system, designed to monitor driver status, which not only recognizes the driver, but also verifies their level of vigilance. The purpose of the driver monitoring system is to alert the driver when signs of drowsiness or distraction are detected. Other applications for the system are also possible, such as driver identification and eye control functions. These developments contribute to greater safety and intuitive use of the new generation of driver assistance functions.
Blind Spot Detection (BSD) systems, help detect pedestrians, cyclists and other moving objects in real time.
The Blind Spot Detection (BSD) system helps detect pedestrians, cyclists and other moving objects in real time, within the areas not visible to the driver and where the highest risk of accidents is found, by means of infrared sensors with advanced artificial intelligence. The BSD system identifies pedestrians, cyclists and motorists in risky driving situations, helping drivers react in time.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), help detect potential collisions by alerting the driver.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems have become a present element in today’s vehicles. The benefits offered by the combination of radars, cameras and sensors in vehicles translate into a drastic reduction in the number of accidents and collisions, since they help prevent distractions, unintentional lane changes or elements in blind spots, just to name a few examples.
What’s next for safety systems inside vehicles?
As we can see, these systems are here to stay, in view of the different regulations that encourage their integration into vehicles. At the same time, the evolution of technology and economies of scale will increasingly facilitate their integration into vehicle fleets.