The European Commission’s work on motor vehicle safety deals with the safety of vehicle occupants (including children in child restraint systems) and vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists). It also includes rules for automated/connected vehicles (safety/cybersecurity) and eCall. The work covers light-duty vehicles (passenger cars and vans) and heavy-duty vehicles (buses, coaches and trucks).
Motor vehicle safety and automated/connected vehicles
The revised General Safety Regulation was adopted on 27 November 2019 and applies from 6 July 2022. It introduces a range of mandatory advanced driver assistant systems to improve road safety. It also establishes the legal framework for the approval of driverless and automated vehicles in the EU.
See Regulation (EU) 2019/2144 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and their trailers, and systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, as regards their general safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users.
Mandatory advanced driver assistant systems
For all road vehicles (i.e. cars, vans, trucks and buses): Intelligent speed assistance, reversing detection with camera or sensors, attention warning in case of driver drowsiness or distraction, event data recorders, cybersecurity as well as an emergency stop signal.
For cars and vans: Additional features like lane-keeping systems and automated braking.
For buses and trucks: Technologies for better recognition of possible blind spots, warnings to prevent collisions with pedestrians or cyclists and tyre pressure monitoring systems.
The rules apply to new vehicle types immediately and to all new vehicles from 7 July 2024. We will expand some of the new measures to cover different kinds of road vehicles until 2029. See the General Safety Regulation factsheet.
Technical rules for driverless vehicles and automated vehicles
The Commission adopted technical legislation for fully driverless vehicles (level 4 of automation, e.g. urban shuttles or robotaxis), the first international rules of their kind. The technical rules set out via a delegated and implementing act establish a comprehensive assessment of the safety and maturity of the fully automated vehicles before they go onto the EU market. The rules will cover testing procedures, cybersecurity requirements, data recording rules, as well as safety performance monitoring and incident reporting requirements for manufacturers of fully driverless vehicles.
For automated vehicles replacing the driver on motorways (level 3 automation), EU legislation aligns with the United Nations, referring to the new UN level rules on level 3 automation.
eCall is an automatic emergency call system for motor vehicles. It dramatically shortens the time it takes for emergency services to arrive. From 31 March 2018 onwards, carmakers must install the technology in all new car and van models.
- Regulation 2015/758 on eCall type-approval eCall amending Directive 2007/46/EC (making the vehicle fit for eCall)
- Decision 585/2014/EU on the deployment of the interoperable EU-wide eCall service (making the public infrastructure fit for eCall)