In the future (not far away) the cars will be able to read and regard road signs, with the aim of reducing accidents and increasing road safety.
This technology is based on sensors already present in modern cars, such as radars and cameras. They will be integrated into a system that will be able to recognize road signs and automatically adjust the speed of the car.
There are already some car manufacturers who are fine-tuning their vehicles in anticipation of legislative demands.
The introduction of this technology represents a significant step forward in autonomous driving and is set to change the way we drive on the roads.
But how many of us will be happy with all this?
Some fear this technology will put drivers’ jobs at risk, while others are skeptical of its reliability.
You will no longer be able to hurry (as most citizens do) to go to work when you are late. It will certainly reduce fines to zero and create a problem for public administrations.
Meanwhile, Europe has moved forward. Politicians are well aware that certain unpopular choices must be reached gradually.
Here is the first of these introduced by Europe which is the prelude of autonomous cars that will no longer allow motorists to have moments of adrenaline.
THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING IN EUROPE
European roads will become safer and the automotive industry will be called upon to leap into the future.
In fact, from 2024, the newly approved cars will have to be equipped with a wide range of advanced driver assistance systems, including the intelligent speed assistant, the driver’s inattention and fatigue warning, and the integrated black box.
What does the “anti-speed” technology consist of: it is the Intelligent Driving Assistant (ISA).
It uses vehicle cameras, map data, and artificial intelligence (among other technologies) to ensure the car doesn’t go too fast.
The cruise control device can warn the driver in several ways and reduce the speed.
The reason as mentioned above: Europe wants to reduce accidents involving deaths.
According to information from the European Commission, speeding “causes about 30% of fatal collisions” and the ISA aims to reduce the number of accidents related to speeding.
The changes will apply to the new models presented by the cars, while the models already approved will be exempt until July 6, 2024.
According to Brussels estimates, the measures will help save 25,000 lives and avoid at least 140,000 seriously injured by 2038.
“Technology helps us to increase the safety level of our cars: the new advanced and mandatory safety features will further help reduce the number of fatalities,” commented EU Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager.
As we all know, it is human error that is held responsible for 95% of accidents.
EUROPE, THE PIONEER OF DRIVERLESS CARS
A package of technical standards for the approval of completely driverless vehicles is also expected shortly from the European Commission.
Thus the EU will be a pioneer in this field.
“This will help increase public confidence, stimulate innovation, and improve the competitiveness of the European automotive industry,” stresses the Commission.
“Speed assistance, lane-keeping, and braking systems: our vehicles are increasingly automated. With the new vehicle safety legislation in place today, Europe is making sure that this technology improves people’s daily lives.”
“It also ensures the automotive industry has a predictable and safe framework to continue to develop innovative technological solutions and maintain its competitiveness globally,” said Commissioner Thierry Breton, responsible for the Internal Market.
WHAT ABOUT THE UNITED STATES?
Things are moving in Europe but in the United States? Where is the American auto industry doing?
US automakers have already started experimenting with ISA technology, and most cars sold in the US are expected to be equipped with this technology by 2025.
It is still unclear whether ISA technology will be mandatory in the United States.
In fact, the ISA regulation is still under study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The final decision will rest with the Biden administration, which may decide to adopt ISA regulation or introduce its own version of the technology.
The fact is that it is still a driving aid, which is not necessarily limited by a speed control device.
In fact, some US car manufacturers such as Tesla and Volvo have already introduced speed sensors in their vehicles.
But this is a choice of the car manufacturers and not a rule imposed by the government.
However, the direction seems clear. I am convinced that even if our cars will be equipped with such systems, those systems will be optional for years.
That is, they can be manually activated and deactivated from our vehicle to be used at our discretion.
I think of cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Porsche, Audi, or Mercedes like the R8 or the SLK. Cars that without the power (and already the noise that they will have to abandon) could lose all their charm.
It is true that the racing track remains, but everyone likes to use those four-wheeled racing cars on state and provincial roads.
Finally, it must be said that beyond these strict controls (such as that on speed) today’s cars already have incredibly powerful braking systems.
They also have control systems to stay on track and automatic braking in the event of a rear-end collision.
These have already reduced accidents in recent years: just think that in 2019 alone 26,500 fatal accidents were recorded in Europe (it was 2018), while in 2010 they were 41,000.
These are encouraging figures, but they are not enough (for Europe at least).
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