The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached preliminary agreement on the revision of the General Security Regulation in the trialogue negotiations on 25 March.
The inter-institutional negotiations started immediately after Parliament adopted on 13th March the revision prepared by the Parliamentary Internal Market Committee (IMCO).
The new regulation stipulates that approximately 30 different technologies or systems must be introduced in new vehicles of different types. According to the provisional agreement, most technologies will become mandatory in May 2022 for new vehicle models and in May 2024 for existing models. The European Commission expects the proposed measures to help save more than 25,000 lives and prevent at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038.
The agreement covers 13 new safety technologies for passenger cars: (1) Intelligent Speed Assitance (ISA); (2) Drowsiness and attention detection; (3) Reversing camera or detection system; (4) Event (accident) data recorder/black box; (5) Lane keeping assist; (6) Advanced emergency braking systems; (7) Alcohol interlock installation facilitation; (8) Driver deflection warning systems; (9) Full-width frontal occupant protection crash test and improved seat belts; (10) head impact zone enlargement for pedestrians and cyclists and safety glass in the event of a crash; (11) Pole side impact occupant protection; (12) Tyre pressure monitoring system; and (13) emergency stop signal.
ISA systems were particularly controversial. These systems use video cameras to detect speed signs and/or GPS-linked speed limitation data to inform drivers of the current speed limit and automatically limit the vehicle's speed if necessary. However, ISA systems are not designed to automatically brake, but to limit engine power so that the vehicle does not accelerate beyond the current speed limit unless it is overridden.
In particular, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) actively lobbied against the introduction of ISA systems. ACEA claims that ISA is still deficient in practice due to wrong traffic signs and outdated information. In addition, cameras cannot predict all scenarios, for example due to visual impairments. Instead, Speed Limit Information (SLI) systems "in combination with better enforcement and driver training" are an "effective alternative". Instead of actively reducing speed, SLI systems only display warnings that can be ignored.
The preliminary agreement is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council. The IMCO parliamentary committee already agreed on 2 April.