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6 ways the EU General Safety Regulations impact car safety and vehicle manufacturing

Maintain vehicle roadworthiness and car safety by following the new EU guidelines for commercial vehicles, and ensure your vehicles are fit for sale

In a bid to improve road and car safety, the European Union has updated its existing vehicle manufacturing standards, known as the General Safety Regulations for commercial vehicles. These regulations are a response to a not insignificant road safety issue, and are expected to save over 25,000 lives by 2038. These vehicle safety measures, which mostly center around technological improvements, are also intended to serve as a blueprint for the adoption of fully driverless cars. In order to pave the way for automated vehicles, car safety protocols need to be especially tight.

Man in gray wearing orange gloves and working on vehicle components

Why did the EU pass new car safety regulations?

Changes to the existing General Safety Regulations for commercial vehicle safety reflect advances in vehicle automation that improve road safety for all drivers. The EU has the ambitious goal of zero fatalies or serious injuries on its roads by 2050, which means an overhaul of safety standards and vehicle manufacturing requirements.

Most of the coming changes are aimed at reducing driver error, which is still the biggest cause of vehicle accidents. But these car safety reforms are part of a broader host of driver and infrastructure changes intended to improve traffic safety. Other countries are beginning to implement similar regulations; the UK, Switzerland, Turkey, Norway, and Israel have already pledged to follow the GSR.

Required adjustments are separated into two categories: vehicle homologations and vehicle registrations. Vehicle homologation refers to the approval required to release a new vehicle type in the EU, and vehicle registration refers to the date when a new vehicle recieves its first license plate. Vehicle manufacturing requirements took effect in mid-2022 for homologations, and will in be in effect for vehicle registrations as of July 7th, 2024.

There are several requirements common to all types of vehicles as well as vehicle safety reforms aimed at specific vehicle types. Specific vehicle types with their own rules include:

  • Cars and vans, which must include lane keeping systems and automated braking
  • Buses and trucks, which will need technology to address blind spots, collision warnings, and tire pressure monitors
  • Automated cars, specifcally those replacing drivers, which must satisfy UN rules for automated car safety

While the technology and features that need to be included are strict, individual vehicle manufacturers are free to implement the technology their own way. Moreover, in addition to reforms directed specifically at car safety or truck safety, there are several criteria that all commercial vehicles need to meet in order to enter the market.

The 6 car safety measures for all commercial vehicles

Woman in a blue apron inspecting a car under the hood

The measures that apply to all vehicles, regardless of type, are concerned mostly with drivers and controlling driver error. The idea is that your vehicle will intervene in situations rather than just inform the driver. That way, safety is assured no matter what. The EU has specified 6 features every commercial vehicle needs to have in order to qualify for homologation and registration.

Moving Off Information System (MOIS)

A Moving Off Information System (MOIS) uses real-time object identification to alert you when a pedestrian, cyclist, or similar enters your vehicle’s blind spot. It’s most useful in larger commercial vehicles like buses and trucks, since they are much further from the ground and thus have a bigger blind spot. It can be a challenge to see even things directly in front of you, making an MOIS crucial for truck safety.

Blind Spot Information System (BSIS)

Similarly to object identification, a Blind Spot Information System helps drivers turn safely, by alerting them when someone is adjacent to their vehicle on the passenger side. This helps avoid accidents or injuries during a sharp turn, especially in crowded urban areas.

Reversing Information System (REIS)

Reversing Information Systems focus on reversing and parking vehicles. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot in the rear, and drivers often have to turn their heads to see behind them. An REIS is car safety technology that covers this blind spot and automatically activates when reverse gear is ativated. That means you’re aware of what’s nearby when backing into a space.

Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA)

While the previous technologies focused on the vehicles themselves, an ISA aims to improve driver attentiveness. In order to help drivers pay more attention on the roads, the system automatically detects and displays the speed limit on your dashboard. If your vehicle goes over the speed limit, the system will send an alert and prompt you to lower your speed. While it cannot automatically lower vehicle speed, consistent awareness of road conditions is essential for driver and car safety.

Driver Drowsiness and Alertness Warning (DDDAW)

Drivers of commercial vehicles sometimes remain on the road for long periods of time, long enough to be exhausted. It’s natural to make some errors after hours and hours behind the wheel. That’s where a Driver Drowsiness and Alertness Warning becomes useful. The system detects unusual driving behavior that it attributes to exhaustion, accounting for steering behavior and hours of driving, among other things. Then, it alerts drivers, who can either correct the behavior or take a rest.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

Regular tire checks are crucial to maintaining vehicle safety, since flat tires lead to more injuries and losing control of your vehicle. One way to monitor tire pressre is with manual vehicle inspections, but this takes longer the more wheels your vehicle has. It’s much easier to do this with technology. Maintaining tire pressure also means using less fuel and reducing CO2 emissions.

A TPMS doesn’t replace your pre-trip inspection, but it does make it easier to identify and implement corrective actions in case of any issues.

Complying with the GSR is easy with a workflow automation app like Lumiform. The new regulations introduce a host of new things to measure and inspect in order to produce quality, compliant vehicles. Inspections are simple with the Lumiform app, which walks users through every step of the process. As a manager, you can create custom checklists to address these requirements.

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