Everyone knows that the European Union is working hard on enhancing road safety. In fact, they are working on the Third Mobility Package proposal which will take various factors into account like infrastructure, vehicle design, speed and people’s behavior to address congestion, pollution and road safety issues in the EU. This proposal consists of at least 11 different hi-tech features that new cars must be fitted with.
Some of such safety features are:
- Autonomous emergency braking → the driver is warned and supported with braking response to avoid crashes or mitigate their severity.
- Intelligent speed assistance → the driver is warned when the legal speed is exceeded, or the vehicle’s speed is automatically reduced.
- Alcohol interlock installation → the driver has to breathe into a device which analyzes blood alcohol content and if he/she is over the limit, the vehicle will not start.
- Drowsiness alert → consists of a driver monitoring system which analyzes driver tiredness and sends an alert to avoid drowsy driving.
- Distraction recognition → as well as the aforementioned feature, a driver monitoring system monitors the driver’s face and sends a warning when his/her attention is diverted from the road.
- Data recorder → stores detailed real-time information to help authorities understand the cause of a crash.
- Emergency stop signal → automatic activation of hazard lights in the event of an emergency stop situation.
- Full width frontal crash testing to improve seatbelt designs → using more stringent crash tests by applying impact force in the entire width of the car to make stronger seatbelt technology.
- Larger head impact crash zone for pedestrians and cyclists → makes more areas of the car safer for car-to-person impacts.
- Lane keeping assistance → helps the vehicle stay straight to avoid lane departure.
- Pole side impact protection → helps protect passengers from pole side-impacts.
- Reversing camera or detection system → rear camera to detect obstacles and warns the driver in the event of a potential risk
- Tire pressure monitoring → warns the driver in case of low tire pressure or tire air loss.
But the question is if drivers are willing to pay more for a vehicle with some of these safety features.
A survey carried out in March 2018 shows us that the answer may not be so clear. The survey results, which included the responses of over 2,000 drivers, showed that 90 percent of drivers agreed that new cars should have safety features and less than half agreed that they would spend more to ensure that their vehicle had Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) or Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA). Nevertheless, 58 percent said they did not know what AEB was and 66 percent did not know what ISA was.
Based on this research, the lack of knowledge surrounding certain safety features could be a possible reason as to why drivers would not pay more for additional safety features.