The European Commission is currently investigation a proposal to introduce new regulation that would make all new cars equipped from the factory with common fittings for safety technologies.
These technologies could include a breathalyzer – an ignition interlock device that disallows the driver to start the car if he is intoxicated with alcohol – but also other safety features. The auto industry on the other hand is resisting to the move, claiming the standardized socket needed for some of the features would cost too much. The new legislation could have a major impact on car part suppliers such as Germany’s Robert Bosch and Continental or France’s Valeo as they would have increased profits from making the necessary technologies that every new car could be required to have to be legal in Europe. The Commission published in March a report containing a comprehensive list of technologies and features that would be introduced because they are both feasible and cost-beneficial, not to mention life-saving in certain occasions. These included automated emergency braking, intelligent speed control, alcohol interlock devices and cameras that would take over the function of rear-view mirrors.
Next year is expected a review of the EU’s “General Safety Regulation”, which could prompt their inclusion in to the list, making them mandatory – save for the cameras. Alcohol interlock devices are already in limited use in certain European Union countries, such as Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands, with the devices needed in cases of convicted drink-drivers. The European Commission has reported that around 25 percent of road fatalities are linked at least in some way to alcohol consumption.