With the news of new regulations being pushed all over the world, it can be difficult to keep track of which countries are implementing what new technologies. The European Commission has just announced that a provisional political agreement has been reached regarding the revised General Safety Regulations, which will come into effect by 2022.
The regulations target safety technologies that must be present in European vehicles in order to protect passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. The definition of a "vehicle" extends to cars, vans, trucks, and buses. The aim is to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities on European roads, 90% of which are a result of human error.
What does this equate to in absolute numbers? There's an expectation of around 25,000 lives a year that will be saved, and around 140,000 less serious injuries a year by 2038. The overarching goal is to hit zero road fatalities by 2050, better known as "Vision Zero".
In terms of actual features, the interim requirements at 2022 aren't particularly high bars to pass. For all vehicles, there needs to be a warning for driver drowsiness and distraction, intelligent speed assistance (whether that's in the form of automatic limiters or speed limit sign recognition), reverse cameras and sensors, and data recorders for accidents. These aren't things that we haven't seen before, even in entry level models.
Specific for cars and vans will be lane-keeping assistance, advanced emergency braking, and crash-test improved safety belts - again, nothing outrageous. Buses and trucks, on the other hand, will need to be constructed for better vision and come with systems that warn of other road users around the vehicles during turns.