2022-3To keep pace with tech advancement, industry regulators around the world are updating the requirements of legislations that govern motor vehicle safety. Revising its General Safety Regulations, the EU requires carmakers to equip their vehicles with advanced safety features by 2022.

Europe on the Move & GSR

In Europe, EU legislative bodies and institutions launched the ‘Europe on the Move’ initiative to modernize the continent’s mobility and transport systems. Enacted in 2017, this group of actions set “triple zero” as its goal, aiming to dramatically reduce emissions, congestion, and accidents.

To help the European community move towards safer traffic, less polluting vehicles, and more advanced technological solutions on the roads, the EU General Safety Regulation has been updated last year. As a new element, this set of rules focuses on the concerns of vulnerable road users like cyclists or pedestrians for the first time.

The revised GSR was adopted in late 2019, making certain vehicle safety features and technologies mandatory in all road vehicles by mid-2022. Overall, the legislation focuses on accident avoidance, pedestrian, and cyclist protection, and helps pave the way for connected and autonomous driving. Let’s see how exactly this piece of legislation impacts the automotive industry!

Mandatory Advanced Safety Features from 2022

The updated General Safety Regulation covers all motor vehicles (including passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, buses, trucks, and trailers) with different deadlines set for the adoption of different safety features on each of these categories.

Overall, the new GSR requires all motor vehicles to be equipped with a number of safety features by 2022:

  • Advanced emergency braking (for cars and vans, as these are already mandatory for buses and trucks)
  • Alcohol interlock installation facilitation
  • Drowsiness and attention detection
  • Distraction recognition / prevention
  • Emergency stop signal
  • Intelligent speed assistance (through nonintrusive haptic feedback)
  • Lane keeping assist (emergency lane keeping system that intervenes only in case of an imminent threat such as leaving the road, or leaving the lane with oncoming traffic – Lane Departure Warning Systems are already mandatory in buses and trucks)
  • Reversing camera or detection system
  • Accurate tyre pressure monitoring system

Cars and vans will also have to be outfitted with:

  • Advanced emergency braking for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Head impact zone enlargement for pedestrians and cyclists (to include the windscreen area)
  • Side crash protection updates
  • Rear crash protection updates

In addition to all of the above, the new regulations call for the application of safety systems in buses and trucks to detect and to prevent injuries for vulnerable road users, especially in blind spots. Such vehicles will also have to be delivered with safety systems that can detect cyclists and pedestrians in close proximity to the vehicle.

Implications for the automotive industry

The new regulation was adopted on 18 Oct 2019, and will enter into force 30 months after that date (with a longer application date on some of the safety features). Auto manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers of subsystems will need to adapt their production to reflect these regulatory changes.

While most of these safety-related technologies are already available, some carmakers will need to develop new technologies to adhere to new regulations, and others may need to update or adapt their product offerings to fit the new safety requirements. Most vehicle manufacturers welcome tougher regulations on road safety. Yet these changes also mean challenges for developers of mobility products.

Mandatory safety features may mean more product variants, requiring carmakers and suppliers to update and in some cases to expand their already complex products and product lines. OEMs will likely be exercising increased scrutiny over their suppliers’ approach to quality throughout the value chain. Therefore, thorough and demonstrable quality management and design control processes will become more important, potentially requiring both suppliers and OEMs to update their development tooling.

Overall, the new GSR could further the trend that automotive product developers increasingly rely on advanced Application Lifecycle Management and Quality Management tooling in their development efforts. As perhaps the most popular automotive ALM, TÜV-certified codeBeamer ALM adequately supports the development of safety-relevant automotive systems in compliance with regulations.