As technology advances, both the performance and the safety of vehicles take quantum leaps forward. Sure, cars and bikes are faster than they ever have been, but they're also safer. A new regulation set to be implemented in the European Union, however, looks to put an end to reckless driving altogether as early as 2024.
The idea of installing mandatory equipment designed to monitor driving data and limit speed began back in 2018 with the European Commission. Subsequently in May 2021, Regulation 2019/2144 was published in the Official Journal, with implementation set to happen in July 2022. So now that we're in July, 2022, what exactly is going to happen? Well, quite a bit, actually.
For starters, new cars will have to come equipped with an Event Data Recorder (EDR) as standard. It makes use of the same technology as the black boxes found in aircraft, minus the voice recording feature—well, at least, hopefully. It keeps track of driving data such as speed, location, and even the amount of brake force applied. It's important to note, however, that this data is recorded only in the event of an accident. Furthermore, the data recorded will remain anonymous, and will only be used to improve infrastructure and the vehicles themselves. That said, any suspicions of our cars actually spying on us can, for now, be quelled.
Up next, all cars will soon have to be fitted with ISA, or Intelligent Speed Assist. Similar to how traditional adaptive cruise control works, the ISA system knows the speed limit of certain areas, and will give an audible and visual alert to the driver warning them that they are exceeding the speed limit. That said, ISA can be disabled, but is designed to automatically reactivate on every startup. Just like the EDR, though, the decree states that any and all data collected by the ISA cannot and will be kept private. How ISA works can be seen in a quick video from ZF Group below.
Apart from the EDR and ISA, other features commonly found on high-end cars will now also be mandatory. These include autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, rear obstacle warnings, and rest alerts to prevent drivers from falling asleep behind the wheel. All that being said, all brand new cars that will be sold from 2024 onwards must have all these features installed. As such, it goes without saying that we can expect the prices of cars to go up, especially in the entry-level market, as technology like this in a car like a base-model Suzuki Swift will certainly drive prices skyward.
Now I know what you're thinking: what does this have to do with us motorcyclists? Well, unfortunately, we'll eventually have to comply with these rules, as well, as European authorities have also expressed interest in installing such data recorders and intelligent speed assist features on motorcycles. That said, however, for the time being, there is no solid plan for the implementation of such features on motorcycles.