The EU commision has listed out 11 features that have to become mandatory in cars by the year 2021. Among such features, one of the most well known is the Autonomous Emergency Braking that automatically applies brakes when the driver does responds to an obstacle. The said technology reportedly reduces the number of accidents by 38%. Reverse cameras will also be a part of the mandatory feature list and the equipment has recently been made standard on the new cars sold in the United States. Reverse cameras are said to save close to 95 lives each year. While most of the car safety systems have been accepted generously by the road safety groups, intelligent speed assistance did caught the attention of the critics. The system controls the speed of the car as it scans the road signs. Some people contradicted this by saying that this is the first step towards total governance of a car's speed.
The 11 safety features that will likely be made mandatory starting 2021 are advanced emergency braking, drowsiness and attention detection, emergency stop signal, Intelligent speed assistance, lane keeping assist, pole side impact occupant protection, reversing camera or detection system, Head impact zone enlargement for pedestrians and cyclists, Full-width frontal occupant protection crash test and improved seatbelts, accident data recorder and Alcohol interlock installation facilitation. Automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist are a couple of features that essentially need to be present in a car to score five stars in Euro NCAP.
Currently, there are almost 26,000 deaths due to road accidents across EU and the target is to reduce the figure to 13,000 by the year 2030. The implementation of making the said features mandatory is definitely a good step towards the road safety and it will certainly reduce the number of accidents and eventually road accident fatalities. India too needs such implementation keeping in mind the rise in the number of deaths each year that take place due to road accidents. However, the price sensitiveness of a market like ours is a step that can be a speed breaker in getting such safety features mandatory. But there are some automakers who prioritize safety over everything else and such philosophy needs to be adopted by others too.