Unsurprisingly, road safety charities are celebrating the news.
All new cars introduced to the European market from 2021 will need to carry 11 advanced safety features as standard, the European Commission has announced.
Revealing the details last week as part of its mobility package, the proposal from the EU body says that gadgets such as autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist systems and overridable speed assistance systems will need to be standard features on new models in the European Union.
Cars will also need to be fitted with distraction recognition technology and a reversing camera or parking sensor system.
The aim of the new legislation is to reduce the number of road casualties across member states, with an eventual target of zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050. Although this does not mean that every new car will need the high-tech equipment – only models introduced after 2021 will be affected – the announcement has been welcomed by road safety campaigners.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: ‘This proposal is hugely significant, marking the next chapter in European road safety and putting us back on the path to vision zero – a world with zero road deaths and serious injuries.
‘These proposals will get the latest lifesaving vehicle technologies on our roads, preventing crashes and helping reduce their impact. It is now up to the UK government, and others across the EU, to ensure this proposal becomes law and they must deliver.
‘UK road safety improvement has stalled in recent years and yet a number of proven road safety policy options remain unexplored. We urge the UK to follow the EU’s lead and implement national road safety targets, focusing the mind and helping push forward proven road safety measures.’