A range of new vehicle safety features, to be fitted as standard on all new cars, vans, lorries and buses sold in Europe from 2022, moved a step closer this week after a provisional European Union deal was reached in Strasbourg.
One of the headline items of this safety package is intelligent speed limiting, which will use Global Positioning System and sign recognition to advise the driver of the current speed limit.
Dubbed Intelligent Speed Assistance, the limiters proposed by the European Transport Safety Council will use Global Positioning System data and/or traffic sign recognition cameras to determine the speed limit of a road.
Much of the technology already exists and is available on more expensive cars. It also included automated emergency braking, sensors, data recording and better vision for drivers to see cyclists and pedestrians.
However, it could be several months before the European Parliament and Council formally approve the new ruling. For example, they expect that this technology will have saved over 25,000 lives and avoided 140,000 serious injuries by the year 2038.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-country EU, said that the features would be required on all vehicles on European roads from 2022.
"Intelligent Speed Assistance and Drowsiness and Distraction Recognition will support drivers in their ongoing tasks".
EU Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska explained that: "Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads.with the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when safety belts were first introduced".
Anne McClain and Christina Koch no longer taking first-female spacewalk
Koch had been scheduled to conduct this spacewalk with astronaut McClain, in what would have been the first all-female spacewalk. McClain and Koch will both be making history during this mission by being the 13th and 14th women to perform a spacewalk.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: 'These measures will provide the biggest leap forward for road safety this century, perhaps even since the introduction of the seatbelt.
The UK has one of the lowest rates of road deaths among European nations, although the number of accidents has plateaued this decade, after a long trend of improving safety.
Then there is the fact that occasionally, exceeding the speed limit or accelerating aggressively is necessary, such as when merging onto a motorway or completing an overtaking manoeuvre.
ISA prevents vehicles from speeding by limiting engine power, but the system can be overridden or temporarily switched off.
EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker (R) speaks with EU commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska prior to a debate on the conclusions of the European Council of 9 and 10 March, including the Rome Declaration, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on March 15, 2017.
The latter feature uses GPS as well as a built-in sign recognition system to detect if the vehicle is going over the speed limit.