Proposed legislation being put to the parliament next month could see data recorders, along with a raft of active safety equipment, installed in all new cars sold within the EU.
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The European Union Parliament will next month vote to make pre-crash 'black box' data recorders and potentially life-saving active safety technology mandatory on new vehicles sold after 2022.

In yesterday's vote, the EU Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) approved plans to make autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, intelligent speed assist and lane-keeping assist mandatory on all new cars sold from 2022.

Somewhat controversially, new vehicles will also need to be fitted with flight-style data recorders, more commonly known as black boxes.

The proposal will next month be put to the full parliament, which will have the final say on whether it becomes law.

Although some of the systems are already widespread, a development pushed by crash-test body Euro NCAP requirements for five-star cars, black box technology has yet to make the leap to the automotive world.

Data privacy advocates pushed against the move, but the EU IMCO argues the benefits of knowing what happened in the moments before a crash – how fast the driver was going, their control inputs, whether traction control was turned on, etc. – outweigh the costs.

"This legislation represents a major step forward for road safety in Europe, and could save 25,000 lives within fifteen years of coming into force,” said Antonio Avenoso, European Transport Safety Council executive director.

“But it will only apply to new vehicles. So it’s incredibly important that a final deal is reached as soon as possible, so cars with these new safety features fitted as standard start driving off production lines sooner rather than later."