EU wants automated speed restrictions in cars18 May 2018

Commission pushes for range of standard safety features

The EU Commission is calling for the mandatory installation of a range of safety features on new cars sold in Europe.

As part of the third element of the Commission’s ‘Europe on the Move’ strategy it is proposed that systems such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane assist and intelligent speed adaptation (ISA) are fitted as standard.

The plans are part of attempts to cut the number of people hurt on roads in the EU: in 2017, 25,300 people died and 135,000 were seriously injured.

The Commission is also calling for member states to identify dangerous road sections and “to better target investment”. The ultimate goal is to move close to zero fatalities and serious injuries on the roads by 2050; the so-called Vision Zero.

In the UK, AEB is currently fitted as standard on around 30% of all new cars sold and is available as an optional extra on another 30%, though only a small fraction of consumers actually opt for it.

ISA would see the vehicle automatically sticking to the speed limit.

Also included on the list of technologies the Commission wants to see more commonly fitted are:

  • Alcohol interlock installation facilitation (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Drowsiness and attention detection (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Distraction recognition / prevention (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Event (accident) data recorder (cars and vans)
  • Emergency stop signal (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Full-width frontal occupant protection crash test – improved seatbelts (cars and vans)
  • Head impact zone enlargement for pedestrians and cyclists – safety glass in case of crash (cars and vans)
  • Lane keeping assist (cars, vans)
  • Pole side impact occupant protection (cars, vans)
  • Reversing camera or detection system (cars, vans, trucks, buses)
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system (vans, trucks, buses)
  • Vulnerable road user detection and warning on front and side of vehicle (trucks and buses)
  • Vulnerable road user improved direct vision from driver’s position (trucks and buses)

Commenting on the ISA proposals the director of the RAC Foundation Steve Gooding said:

“For all its high-tech sophistication ISA will only be good as the speed limit data it relies on. From more 20mph zones in cities to constantly varying limits on smart motorways, speed setting is increasingly localised and diverse.
“The danger is that incomplete information will see an ISA-controlled car sticking firmly, say, to 60mph when it shouldn’t be going any faster than 50.”



Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation

[email protected] | 020 7747 3445 | 07711 776448 | 020 7389 0601 (ISDN)

Notes to editors:

The RAC Foundation is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users.

All the Foundation’s work is available on its website: