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Offline AshSimmonds

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It's been on the cards as certainly to be a feature of vehicles eventually for a long time, this is the first time I've seen it listed with a time-frame.

One life €1 million €2,500 in extra costs to you

HOW MUCH is a human life worth? According to the European Union, it’s €1 million. That’s how much it estimates a single fatality in a road traffic collision costs in medical and emergency service expenses and the wider impact on the economy. So it argues a safety advance that saves 1,000 lives a year but costs €1 billion to implement represents good value for money.

That cost is passed directly to car buyers and the EU is forcing carmakers to fit more safety features as standard. By 2016, new EU regulations and tougher Euro NCAP crash tests could add up to €2,500 to the cost of your car. Nobody will argue against safer cars, but how much are you prepared to pay for one?

Last year saw one of the biggest falls in road deaths in Europe, but most analysts agree the figures were influenced by high fuel prices putting people off driving and the onset of the recession in the latter part of the year. Total European road deaths fell to 39,000. In Ireland, 279 people were killed on the roads, the lowest since records began 40 years ago. The number of people seriously injured in crashes in the State between 2006 and 2008 fell by 30 per cent, according to research from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC).

For all the good news, there is almost no chance of the EU now hitting its target of cutting deaths to 27,000 in 2010. As a result, it is planning to step up the mandatory installation of safety devices. Daylight running lights, systems to monitor tyre pressure, low rolling-resistance tyres and electronic stability control will all become compulsory over the next three years.

Emergency brake assist, which senses you want to perform an emergency stop and applies full braking pressure, missed the cut but has been backed by the EU and is likely to be introduced in the near future.

The EU has sought to introduce the E-Call emergency service call-out system and may extend the compulsory inclusion of lane departure warning systems and advance emergency braking from lorries – which must have them by 2013 – to passenger cars once costs fall.

Several cars sold in Ireland already feature E-Call technology that automatically alerts a call centre with the GPS location of the car and that a crash has happened once the airbags are deployed. The call centre can then try to contact the driver.

Plans for the system in Ireland have been stymied by disagreements between the Government and the car firms over who should foot the bill for the call centre set-up and operation.

The lane-departure system uses cameras to read road markings and sounds an alarm if you start to drift out of your lane without indicating. Advance emergency braking uses radar to sense a rapidly slowing or stationary vehicle ahead and automatically applies the brakes.

Euro NCAP, backed by the EU, is also forcing carmakers to add more safety features as its tests get tougher. In advance of the EU making stability control compulsory in 2012, a car cannot score five stars in a Euro NCAP test unless it has the system fitted. Euro NCAP’s revised testing procedures include a new “safety assist” category. It includes seatbelt reminders and driver-set speed limiters. Models will score points for fitting devices included in the category. The list is set to grow and some, like stability control, could be made requirements for a five-star result.

No carmakers or automotive engineers are arguing against safer cars. But, privately, some engineers, including some from Volvo, which has built its image on safety, question whether the EU and Euro NCAP’s approach is the most effective way to reduce fatalities. The Japanese Automotive Manufacturers Association also estimates EU crash safety regulations have added around 30kg, or half the weight of a typical passenger, to the cars its members produce for the European market, increasing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Consumers will hope to recoup some of the additional cost of their new car in lower insurance premiums, but insurance pay-outs won’t fall until significant numbers of cars have been fitted with the new systems.

Stability control: Confirmed.

The FIA claims compulsory stability control will save 4,000 lives a year in Europe. Applies to all new models from 2012 and all cars on sale from 2014.

EU already considering limiting maximum speeds but GPS-based systems that limit cars to the local speed limit are more likely and under consideration in some member states, including UK.

Daytime running lights: Confirmed. Claimed to reduce fatalities by 3-5 per cent in countries where already compulsory. LEDs use quarter of energy of conventional lamps and should last the life of the car.

Emergency brake assist: Backed by the EU but not included in 2012 package; likely to be included in Euro NCAP’s “safety assist” category, which is intended to identify new safety technologies and “gradually encourage fitment as standard”.

Tyre pressure monitoring: Confirmed. Detects deflation using wheel sensors to compare rotational speed; under-inflated tyres shrink and have to turn faster. Aimed at reducing CO2 emissions as much as safety.

Pyrotechnic bonnets: They lift up away from the engine and suspension hard points beneath. Can reduce serious head injuries by 30 per cent. New rules from 2013 will mean more “active” pedestrian safety equipment.

E-Call: EU has threatened to make this compulsory from 2014 if member states don’t speed the introduction of national systems. Automatically calls emergency services with GPS coordinates of the accident and connects them to the occupants of the car.

Low rolling-resistance tyres: Confirmed. Aimed at cutting

CO2 emissions by average of 7g/km and reducing stress-related illness caused by traffic noise. Requires high-spec tyres to maintain wet-handling performance and safety.

Lane departure warning: Compulsory on lorries from 2013 but may be extended to all vehicles. High cost of required cameras and radar would make introduction on passenger cars unpopular now, but cost could decline to bearable levels soon.

Seatbelt reminders: Now part of Euro NCAP’s “safety assist” assessment category. Still possible to get a five-star rating without it but car makers likely to make it standard and there is a good chance the EU will make it compulsory.

The options list the EU is adding to your next car:

2011 Daytime running lights€100 2012

Tyre pressure monitoring system €100

Stability Control €300

Low rolling-resistance tyres €100

2013 Seatbelt reminders €100

Lane departure warning system€600

2014 E-call emergency service call-out €250

Emergency brake assist €150

2015 GPS-linked speed limiters€300

2016 Pyrotechnic bonnets €500

Total €2,500


Offline Iggy_Type_R

  • Joined: Nov 2008

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reducing stress-related illness caused by traffic noise.

WTF!?!?!?!?!  :scared:

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