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Advanced Safety Features For All New Vehicles Sold

On July 7th, all newly manufactured vehicles sold in Ireland must come equipped with a range of advanced safety systems. The move comes with the implementation of an EU regulation which aims to significantly reduce deaths and serious injuries on roads by mandating certain Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in new vehicles. The second General Safety Regulation, GSR2, applies to cars, vans, buses and trucks. Its primary aim is to reduce collisions by deploying advanced safety systems to help protect the occupants of the vehicle, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.

Sam Waide, chief executive of the Road Safety Authority (RSA), welcomed the move: “ADAS uses sensors and other electronic systems to assist drivers in various driving tasks and help prevent collisions. It has the potential to significantly improve road safety in Ireland.”

The regulation covers the introduction of a wide range of technologies, including drowsiness detection, blind spot information systems, advanced emergency braking, alcohol interlock installation facilitation and intelligent speed assistance. Intelligent speed assistance is a key feature that alerts drivers when they are speeding. This technology is expected to help drivers keep within the speed limit by issuing an audible warning or vibrating alert when the driver exceeds the limit or when the speed limit changes. It operates using a front-facing camera that reads speed limit signs. This data can be combined with GPS mapping in the vehicle's software, enabling the car to know the current speed limits along its route.

Advanced emergency braking is a system that monitors the road ahead, alerting the driver if a potential collision is about to occur. The system automatically applies the brakes if the driver fails to brake in an emergency. An alcohol interlock interface allows the installation of aftermarket breathalysers on newly manufactured vehicles. Where aftermarket devices are fitted, the driver must pass a breath alcohol content test to enable the vehicle to start. According to research published by the University of Limerick (UL) in November 2022, installing ADAS on cars could result in a significant reduction in crashes.

Using publicly available road safety reports from Great Britain for 2019, researchers estimated that a full deployment of ADAS would reduce collision frequency in the UK by 23.8%, representing an annual decrease of 18,925 incidents. The researchers from Lero, the SFI Research Centre for Software at UL, and Motion-S, Luxembourg, also found advanced emergency braking is the most impactful technology, reducing three out of the four most frequent collision categories – intersection (by 28%), rear-end (by 27.7%), and pedestrian collisions (by 28.4%). The research team believe similar results could be achieved in Ireland.

The RSA, in association with the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), is running a campaign to raise awareness of the changes among consumers and the motor industry.


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