Review of laws for the automotive sector - with a focus on ecology16 / 01 / 22 Visitors: 241
In the 1960s, the German car manufacturer BMW used the slogan Freude am Fahren, meaning "joy to drive".
But the new EU rules passed this week could make the experience of future drivers quite different from that of the gasoline-fueled adrenaline rush of decades ago. The three fundamental forces that will radically change the cars of the future are the climate change emphasis on decarbonisation, efforts to prevent road fatalities and new technologies.
A number of eco laws
One of the new laws, approved on Monday, updates the carbon reduction targets for passenger cars and vans by 2030. This will accelerate carmakers' efforts to produce more electric vehicles, which are likely to be more expensive than those powered by internal combustion engines.
The second law, passed on Tuesday by a huge majority, forces the introduction of a number of safety technologies in cars. The idea is, of course, to reduce the number of fatal accidents, but the new regulations could change the business model of car makers like BMW.
- The emission limits are too strict - says one of the German managers of the automotive industry. - It should also be added that many safety-related techniques aimed at reducing the number of road accident victims also reduce the emotions associated with driving a car.
MEPs on Wednesday voted to continue introducing new technical standards for car communication. If they do not contradict the European Commission's plans to continue using Wi-Fi-based protocols, they can bring us closer to the spread of autonomous car systems in the real world.
A series of new laws passed at the end of the current European Parliament's mandate are part of the EU's efforts to clean up the transport sector, which is responsible for a quarter of Europe's greenhouse gas emissions. It is also about accelerating action to reduce the number of avoidable road fatalities in which thousands of people are now killed every year.
In 2018, 25,100 people died on EU roads, according to preliminary data from the European Commission released this month. Although it is one fifth less than in 2010, the decrease was only 1 percent compared to 2017. The original Commission target was to halve the number of fatalities from 2010 by 2020 - but it is now known that this target will not be achieved.
More than 90 percent of road accidents are caused by human error - which is why policymakers and pressure groups want cars equipped with more modern technology. These include Intelligent Speed Control, monitoring maps and road signs to alert the driver when driving too fast, emergency braking and lane keeping systems, and devices to detect drunk or too sleepy drivers. Such technologies will be mandatory on new cars from 2022.
- These laws will save the lives of thousands of people in the coming years - says Róża Thun, Polish MEP, representative of the European People's Party, which passed the law through the European Parliament.
Focus on safety, not speed
The new law will force car manufacturers to change their sales strategy: what attracts customers is no longer speed, but safety.
This approach is close to the traditional reputation of Volvo - a company known primarily for the production of safe vehicles. Today, the Swedish manufacturer is even ahead of the EU's assumptions, declaring that by 2020 its cars will not cause fatalities at all, and that the speed of the new models will be limited to 180 kilometers per hour. - We want to start a discussion on whether car manufacturers have the right or the obligation to install technology in vehicles to control driver behavior in issues such as speed, drunk driving or distraction - said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo CEO in March.