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Friday, 21 September 2007

Smart cars! Yay, me wants....

My comment:Ok, I am a driver and I'm not too charmed by the degree of irresponsibility and carelessness on the road. And I'd appreciate any help I can get, because driving is so damn stressful! And it shouldn't be. Just one little remark- all sounds great, but as long as the price of those cars is so high (I mean check the hybrid Lexus or Toyota-nice and not achievable), people will keep on driving the old cars and killing and getting killed just before. EU, think about that!
Hi-tech cars emerged as a priority in EU transport policy in February 2006, when it became apparent that a majority of member states were well behind their 2001 road safety objective of halving the number of annual road deaths to 25,000 by 2010 (EurActiv 22/02/06).

At the time, the Commission came forward with an 'Intelligent Car' initiative – as part of its wider 'European Information Society 2010' strategy, aimed at promoting information and communication technologies (ICT) so as to boost jobs and growth in Europe.

The aim of the project was to work with industry, member states and citizens to create ICT solutions for transport-related problems such as fatalities, injuries and material damage caused by accidents, harmful effects on the environment and public health due to noxious vehicle fumes, high economic costs related to congestion and energy waste.

After 18 months of existence, the Commission says that the Intelligent Car initiative has achieved "important results" and that it is now time to come up with a new strategy to take account of recent technological and policy developments.

Certain safety options, such as automatic emergency call technology (eCall), electronic stability control (ESC) equipment and crash-avoidance systems, could become compulsory in all road vehicles, according to a second 'Intelligent Car' Communication, presented by the Commission at the Intelligent Car Yearly Event 2007 in Versailles, France on 18 September.

The Commission says that eCall could save up to 2,500 lives every year but that too few EU states have yet committed to facilitating the introduction of the technology (12 out of 27 to date).

The idea behind eCall is that, in the event of a serious accident, cars equipped will automatically call the nearest emergency centre using the single European emergency 112, giving basic information about the crash, including the exact location of the accident scene, even when no passenger is able to communicate.

The Commission has announced that it will start negotiations with European, Japanese and Korean carmakers on the voluntary inclusion of the eCall device as a standard option in all new vehicles starting from 2010. But it stresses that if progress is too slow, "new regulatory actions on the implementation of eCall may be envisaged in 2008".

The Commission adds that it will consult stakeholders later this year on the possibility of making electronic stability control equipment, as well as braking assistance and crash-avoidance systems, mandatory in all vehicles as of 2011.

According to the Commission, by reducing the danger of skidding – the principle cause of at least 40% of fatal road accidents – ESC could save 4,000 lives and prevent 100,000 serious accidents every year.


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