Automatic braking system to be installed in cars in France from 2022

All new cars sold in France will need to have 'intelligent speed assistance' technology from 2022.
All new cars sold in France will need to have 'intelligent speed assistance' technology from 2022. (Photo by PASCAL PAVANI / AFP)
France will adopt from next year an EU-wide regulation says that new cars must have installed technology that automatically reduces speed when drivers break the limit.

Intelligent Speed Assistance (Adaptation Intelligente de la Vitesse or AIV in French) is a technology that automatically slows down cars breaking the speed limit.

It uses GPS and speed cameras to determine whether a car is exceeding the speed limit in that area, and then prompts the driver to slow down before gently pushing back on the acceleration pedal and automatically reducing engine propulsion. Drivers are, however, able to override the system. 

From July 2022, all new car models sold in France will have to have this technology installed. From 2024, even older car models being sold will have to have to be equipped. 

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The EU Commission adopted these regulations last week. They are part of the so-called ‘Vision Zero’ initiative which seeks to have zero fatalities on the road by 2050.

The commission said there were close to 23,000 fatalities on EU roads in 2019. Driving at ‘excessive or inappropriate’ speeds was described as a ‘major threat’ to road safety. It is estimated 10-15 percent of all crashes and 30 percent of all fatal crashes were the directly caused by speeding. 

2,780 people died because of road accidents in France last year – down 21 percent from 2019. This decrease is mostly due to the Covid-19 restrictions that meant fewer people were driving. 

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Intelligent Speed Assistance could bring this figure down further.

“Technical solutions assisting drivers in reducing driving speed can have profound impact on accident outcome and reduction of injury levels,” notes a draft of the legislation. 

French driving associations are unhappy about the new technology, claiming it could make drivers more unsafe. 

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“We have a system which is missing the point,” said Pierre Chasseray, head of the 40 millions d’automobilistes association.

“For example, if you are driving on the motorway, the technology can detect a speed limit as you are approaching the exit of a motorway, which would apply a relatively brutal breaking system in the vehicle and could make driver slow down too quickly, too strongly, and lead to accidents,” he told FranceInfo

Shares in navigation and mapping companies such as TomTom rocketed after the EU adopted the rules. Businesses like this have already developed Intelligent Speed Assistance technology. 

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