From Black Boxes to Speed Limiters, 15 Ways the European Union Will Make All Cars Safer—Part 2
Automologist MAC brings us eight more new technologies that the EU has, in their infinite wisdom, decided all new cars starting 2022 will have. If you haven’t read Part 1, start there:
8. Direct Vision. This is just for trucks and buses. It comes down to larger windows, both front and side, so that truckers can see the bike that they have just run over. All joking aside, this could well be a major lifesaver for the vulnerable road users like cyclists.
9. Emergency Stop Signals. Okay, I thought these were already on cars in the form of the three big red lights that come on when you push the brake pedal. Apparently, though, this new brake light will tell other users if you have slammed your brakes on and will thus be stopping a lot faster than perhaps the driver behind would normally anticipate. This may also activate the hazard warning lights but as of now, we do not know.
10. Head Impact Zone Enlargements. To increase pedestrian safety and not really for the occupants of the car, the size and type of windscreen will be changed.
11. Improved Side Pole Protection. This may prove very challenging for the manufacturers. It is the NCAP test whereby a car is moved at speed side-on into a concrete pole; the impact thus being more or less in the middle of the vehicle. The proposal will make the test stricter and thus a greater test of the crash-worthiness of a vehicle and, I presume, increase the cost of vehicles at the same time.
12. Improved Occupant Protection. Pretty self-explanatory, really. This will come in the guise of seatbelt improvements, with the aim of improving full-width frontal safety.
13. Reverse Camera and Parking Assist. The EU may be a little behind the times on this one as it has been mandatory in many regions around the world already. It is in fact one of the features that I like the best as it does make parking a cinch.
14. Tyre Pressure Monitoring. Again, this technology is not new and most upmarket cars already have it. Knowing that you have the correct tyre pressure will not only ensure that your car is handling correctly but also save you fuel, so it has to be a good thing.
15. Vulnerable Road User Detection and Warning. I don’t know but this seems remarkably similar to Direct Vision at point 8 above. But this is where not only do the buses and trucks have to have larger windows, but they also have to be fitted with a system that will sound a warning every time a vulnerable road user is detected.
Road safety has to be the concern of all governments and over the years the intervention of the bureaucrats has been largely for the best, but there is a bit of a sting in the tail. All of the above points will add cost and weight to cars of the future, making them more exclusive and thus elitist, and also potentially less fuel efficient.