By mid-2022, all new cars sold in the EU will be fitted with a range of safety systems, which, for example, warn if the driver is tired and stopped in an emergency.
The new regulation was announced last Friday by the Council of Ministers, which hopes the new rules will lead to a significant reduction in serious traffic accidents and at the same time boost competitiveness.
The automotive industry welcomes stricter regulatory conditions, says Swedish CEO Matthias Bergman, who warns at the same time that this is not a miracle cure:
We are primarily positive, but you should be aware that it increases costs and does not solve all problems. To achieve safe traffic, the vehicle is just one of three factors. The other is to build safe roads and train drivers to maintain speed and to follow traffic rules, says Matthias Bergman.
The premium gap narrows
Safety systems are already present in many so-called premium cars and often what distinguishes such a car from a regular car. The new rules will lead to a significant price hike, though they are likely to make the technology cheaper, according to Bergman.
As you get more volume, costs are reduced. You need to take what is in a modern premium car and put it in a volume car, the price of the same component will fall thanks to economies of scale.
In many cases, these will not be the same technical solutions at the same price. They work to find cheaper solutions and in other cases it is about increasing production and designing them so that they can be produced cheaper, says Matthias Bergman.
Manufacturers hard pressed
Even if the industry is positive, it gets sweaty – the new rules mean a big change in no time.
The automotive industry will develop the technology, subcontractors get the components, and then increase it in large quantities. Testing authorities should have the capacity to test and then the national authorities will implement the legislation. There are a lot of things that need to be done and it's a huge amount of time pressure, says Matthias Bergman.
Requirements may mean that other developments, for example in the area of security, must be set aside.
If you have an existing budget, priority must always be given to meeting the legal requirements, says Matthias Bergman.