Car Industry

EU to require speed limiters, driver monitors in new cars from 2022

Speed limiters are promised to reduce road deaths by 20 percent.

New cars sold in Europe from 2022 will be required to have many more safety features as standard.

Mercedes-Benz

New cars sold in Europe after May 2022 will be required to have a variety of new safety technologies, including speed limiters and systems to monitor the driver's attention levels. The European Commission announced the rules Tuesday, saying that intelligent speed limiters alone could reduce fatalities on European roads by 20 percent.

The speed-limit systems would use road-sign recognition or data from navigation maps to warn the driver of the current speed limit and whether he or she is exceeding it. Such technology is actually offered on many new vehicles already, but the EU plan is to make it standard on every car.

Other technologies that would be required include systems to determine whether a driver is distracted or drowsy, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, backup cameras and an improved event data recorder to store information from before a crash. The rules still need to be formally approved by the EU Parliament later this year, the Commission said.

The EU Commission's announcement said that it expects the safety technologies to prevent about 25,000 deaths and 140,000 injuries on the roads between 2022 and 2038. While new models need to have the technology from May 2022, existing vehicle models will have until May 2024 to add it.

The announcement comes on the heels of Volvo's commitment to limit the top speed of all its future cars to 112 miles per hour, as well as the company's announcement that all of its future vehicles will have camera systems designed to detect drowsy, distracted or intoxicated drivers. While the US does not yet have a mandate for automatic emergency braking, the majority of automakers have pledged to make AEB standard on all new cars by September 2022.