Recently the EU mandated speed-limiting technology in all new cars after the year 2022. In addition, the new rules will see cars not only equipped with speed limiters, but there will also be breathalyzers installed. The European Council has approved plans for improved safety measures after the European Parliament passed the regulations in March. Road safety standards in the UK will be similar to EU rules after Brexit. All new cars will be fitted with these safety features, and existing models will be updated. The improvements are systems that warn the driver if they show signs of drowsiness or if there is something that needs their attention. While these measures will make the road safer, some are seeing this as an overstep of authority.
Originally the EU mandated only speed limiters in new cars after 2022. While the technology is reliable, it is still new. There will be kinks to be smoothed out. A lot of people are actually worried that technology, the intelligent speed assistance system, will lead to more accidents at first. This is because the technology is still being worked out.
The intelligent speed assistance system works by using GPS and software recognition cameras. The car’s computer uses GPS data to find out the speed limit, the traffic conditions, and other information. Then the car’s cameras look at the road signs and determine traffic laws.
It takes all of this into account, including where the cars on the road are, and determines the proper speed. The technology has been tested and is being used in a lot of models, including Tesla’s semi-automated cars, and has been effective, but it is difficult to know what will happen when you put this technology into all new cars. For example, when you need to speed up quickly to get out of the way of a car in a slow zone, pushing hard on the gas to override the system may delay the reaction time and an accident could occur. Still, the EU hopes that this technology will lead to fewer road deaths and incidents.
The EU Commission didn’t stop there. They added a mandate for breathalyzers to be installed into new cars as well. While there is no doubt that this will make the roads safer, it is seen by some as an overreach of power. If the driver has been drinking, the engine will not start. While this may be inconvenient, the EU hopes that it will save many lives.
According to the experts at the site MoneyPug, which is known for being a platform to find the best car insurance, the costs of insuring your car will go down with this mandate. There will be less drinking and driving, which will lead to fewer accidents. Insurance premiums will decrease. However, it can be overridden by having someone blow into the breathalyzer who hasn’t been drinking.
This “alcohol ignition interlock device” is already in use in the United States, Australia, and Canada, but none of these countries mandate it for the average driving civilian. The mandate in the EU will come with a special chip that can alert the police if a person has tried to disconnect the interlock.
The European Parliament has said that the changes will save thousands of lives and help drivers avoid speeding fines. Vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians would also benefit, they said. These new rules will help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities according to Finland’s minister of employment, Timo Harakka. He said that they will also enhance the competitiveness of European cars in the global auto market. This improved technology plays an important part in making the roads safer, but the AA President Edmund King warned drivers must not use these devices to pay less attention behind the wheel.
One thing is for sure, speed limiting technology will spread and become commonplace in all cars. Only time will tell if it should be done by mandate or by the natural progression of the market. Breathalyzers, on the other hand, will not be as ubiquitous. Some see it as an overreach of power. However you look at it, the EU requiring the alcohol ignition interlock will influence others to do the same.