ACEA urges EU Council to focus on vehicle safety

27 March 2018

27 March 2018

Before the European Commission publishes its proposal on the revision of the General Safety Regulation in May, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is calling on policymakers to focus on the most effective vehicle safety measures with the strongest positive impact.

′It goes without saying that our industry is a strong supporter of further reducing road causalities,’ stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. ′We, therefore, welcome the initiative to revise the safety regulations.’

Over the last few decades, passive safety systems, reducing the impact of an accident or the level of injury, have made a major contribution to road safety. Now, active safety measures that can even prevent accidents from happening at all offer a huge potential to further improve the situation, for example by automatically intervening when a driver fails to react in time.

ACEA members are open to expanding important safety features, such as the requirement that all new car types come equipped with autonomous emergency braking systems or lane departure warning.

′What is needed is an EU road safety policy that prioritises measures which deliver the most optimal results, while also being the most cost-effective,’ stated Mr Jonnaert. ′EU automakers want to invest in the most effective solutions. We are therefore calling for detailed cost-benefit analyses and proper impact assessments for all measures under consideration.’

To support these recommendations and to assess the potential of the different safety measures under consideration, ACEA used the results of a detailed analysis of accident statistics carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and the Centre Européen d’Etudes de Sécurité et d’Analyse des Risques (CEESAR).

Jonnaert added: ′Notwithstanding the great potential of vehicle safety technologies, an integrated approach is also needed, combining new technology with improved road infrastructure and safer driver behaviour. ACEA is committed to working with relevant stakeholders to make further progress in these areas.’

An example of how important new safety technologies are can be seen in the UK. Latest data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and JATO Dynamics shows that around 66.8% of new cars are offered with at least one self-activating safety system, either as standard or as an optional extra. Nearly 1.8 million new vehicles a year are now available with collision warning systems alone, up 20% on the previous year.

Thanks to these innovations and more, road accidents in the UK have fallen by nearly 10% since 2012, and are set to fall further as manufacturers continually strive to develop ever more sophisticated technology to improve safety and the driver experience.

According to a 2015 report by the SMMT and KPMG, connected and self-driving vehicle technology could reduce serious accidents by 25,000 and save 2,500 lives by 2030.