Ireland South MEP
October 12 2017
Key vote in EU Parliament wants self-driving car technology to help curb road deaths
New technology in cars and vehicles like automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian and cyclist detection and lane-keeping assistance can save lives and should be included in all new vehicles!
Yesterday, the European Parliament’s Transport Committee voted to step up Europe’s efforts to better protect vulnerable road users from fatal accidents and serious injuries on the road. The vote in the European Parliament, which I supported, calls for mandatory driver assistance systems, driver training and investment in road infrastructure.
Every year, a staggering 25,500 people die on Europe’s roads and 135,000 are seriously injured. Every death and every single seriously injured person is simply one too many. Europe needs to act now.
The Transport Committee of the EU Parliament, of which I am a member, wants ambitious proposals for mandatory driver assistance systems in cars, trucks, buses and coaches, like automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian and cyclist detection or lane-keeping assistance. The technology is there to save lives, there is no reason why it should not be included as part of the design of vehicles we are making in Europe.
Five out of ten of all fatal road accident victims in urban areas are pedestrians and cyclists. We have the technology available to avoid these accidents, so we need to use it”
The Transport Committee insisted that only those driver assistance systems which make a genuine contribution to road safety, have a favourable cost-benefit ratio and have already attained market maturity should be mandatory.
Even if these systems pave the way for autonomous driving, they can never replace well-qualified drivers on high quality roads. Therefore these systems should be overridable. Driver training and enough funding for maintenance and renewal of the infrastructure are also important preconditions to improve road safety in Member States.