Members of the European Parliament are calling for all new cars to be equipped with driver assistance systems capable of detecting pedestrians, braking automatically or adapting their speed.
They say that every year, more than 25,000 people are killed and hundreds of thousands injured on Europe’s roads, with about 90% of these accidents are due to human error, and that many could be avoided by using new technological systems to assist drivers in dangerous situations.
They say that today they are the preserve of relatively few higher-end models, but given their obvious benefits these systems should be compulsory on all new cars.
These systems vary from automatic braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection and intelligent speed assistants They can also automatically slow down a car to avoid a collision and assist drivers to remain within speed limits. There are also systems that start beeping wildly or even steer a car back when you drift out of the lane.
However, they say, three quarters of new cars are still not equipped with any of those, mainly because of the extra cost.
To reduce costs, the draft resolution suggests only making features compulsory that are already available on the market and have proved their ability to save lives, such as automatic emergency breaking systems with pedestrian and cyclist detection.
“Everyone should be able to buy such a car,” said German member Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, who wrote the text of the non-binding resolution. “It is precisely through widespread implementation that these driver assistance systems become cheaper. Therefore the price of these cars will not shoot through the roof; they will just be a little more expensive.”
MEPs are also keen to assess the possible added value of cutting the blood alcohol limit to zero for new drivers and professional drivers across the EU.