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Mandatory Driver Monitoring is On Its Way in Europe, the US, and China

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Automotive technology is progressing beyond what humanity ever imagined. It isn’t just automation, electric vehicles, and the advanced computer systems in cars, driver monitoring (DMS) is about to become mandatory across the world.

DMS is a technology that monitors the driver’s ability to stay on the road, awake, and only drive when the person isn’t intoxicated.

While DMS will potentially save millions of lives, it also comes with a few asterisks that could become problems for the public.

While automakers are creating innovative methods to make safer cars, the driver has remained the same—with more distractions.

 

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Now Tesla and others are building automated cars that help take human error out of the equation. While fully automated roads are still for off, DMS protected cars are going to be rolled out onto the roads before you know it.

Everyone isn’t happy about the mandates, saying it amounts to government overreach, but the safety they will provide shouldn’t to be ignored. Legislators around the world are understanding the importance of driver monitoring to prevent traffic and accidents, while carmakers and others are resisting new regulations.

New Laws in the EU

The European Union (EU) is undoubtedly one of the world’s leaders in road safety. It is partly because the consequences of distracted drivers have left an edible mark on the continent. According to firm McGinley Solicitors, which handles personal injury compensation claims, from 35,000 fatal car accidents, 40 percent of them are attributed to an inattentive driver. After looking at these statistics, European lawmakers are taking steps to make the roads safer and that includes driver monitoring systems to ensure that drivers are sober, awake, and paying attention.

The EU Council of Ministers passed a general safety regulation that mandated carmakers to install advanced safety systems in all of their new cars in 2019. Advanced safety systems that they are mandated include camera-based driver monitoring that detects inattention and drowsiness. It also issues a warning if a driver’s distraction is identified.

New regulations will gradually be rolled out over four years. In 2022 all new type-approved cars will have a certain level of automation. The law will include all newly produced cars on the EU market in 2026. The EU believes that at least 140,000 serious injuries will be avoided by the year 2038.

Car Culture in China

China is following the lead of the European Union. The country is the leader in adding cars to their roads. More people are buying cars for the first time in China than just about anywhere else in the world. As China rapidly develops, the roads are becoming more dangerous. This is why they are regulating the installation of DMS technology in their cars. There are benefits to of being late to the party, China is getting to advance more quickly than established car cultures like the United States.

Legislation in the United States

Everyone knows that the US has a car culture. The country has some of the busiest roads and suffers more fatalities to automobile accidents than any other high-income country. Over 35,000 people are killed because of traffic collisions in the United States every year.

The House of Representatives passed the Moving Forward Act on July 1st 2020, which is an infrastructure bill that costs $1.5 trillion to make roads safer.

There are a variety of measures included in the bill, one of the safety measures included in the bill is to make installation of the technology that detects intoxicated and inattentive driving. The bill still has to be passed by the Senate and signed by the President to become law.

The Stay Aware For Everyone (SAFE) act is another bill that investigates the use of DMS and how it can improve road safety. It aims to conduct research into how these systems can minimize driver distraction that is associated with an increased reliance on advanced driver-assistance technology. The bill could lead to regulations that DMS technology is installed in every new car.

Not everyone is happy about these mandates. It is difficult for carmakers to transition quickly, but there is also an argument that this is a nanny-state mentality. Should we allow people to put themselves and others in danger? The death rates are staggering, and if they can be prevented should we? Many governments think so and are taking steps to mandate DMS technology in all of their new cars.