GSR2: Making Cars Safer, but Pricier

GSR2, formally known as "General Safety Regulations 2," signifies a shift in automotive safety standards within the European Union and the United Kingdom. The implementation of 19 new safety technologies aims to significantly reduce deaths and serious injuries. However, this enhancement comes with financial implications for both manufacturers and consumers, with particular ramifications for budget-conscious vehicle purchasers.

Phased Implementation

GSR2 is being rolled out in two phases, with the initial phase happened on July 6, 2022, and full enforcement scheduled for July 2024. Regardless of price range, all new car models introduced post-July 6, 2022, are required to comply. This stringent regulation has led to the withdrawal of certain electric car models by OEMs due to cost considerations.

Industry Impact

Responses from the automotive sector vary, with unanimous acknowledgment of the importance of safety. However, concerns have been raised regarding the severity of the regulations, especially for specific vehicle segments. Critiques have targeted the inflexible timing of the EU's enforcement, overlooking considerations such as model-changeover periods and global safety legislation alignment.

Technological Innovations and Concerns

GSR2 introduces state-of-the-art safety technologies, including advanced emergency braking and alcohol interlocks. Nevertheless, doubts persist regarding their everyday efficacy, particularly concerning features such as intelligent speed assistance, which rely on road sign recognition or GPS data. GSR2 extends its reach beyond cars to encompass buses, trucks, and other vehicles, with the new regulations reshaping the automotive landscape significantly.

Impact on Product Strategy

Manufacturers face strategic decisions on whether to upgrade products to meet standards or phase them out by July 2024. These decisions are likely already underway. Small cars face substantial retooling challenges, given their narrow profit margins. Cost recovery through price adjustments or increased sales presents a significant hurdle. Older models may face market withdrawal due to non-compliance by July 2024, prompting manufacturers to evaluate the feasibility of retrofitting, especially for vehicles with outdated electrical systems.

According to the press release published on the website of the European Commission on 6th of July 2022, as of the day, the new measures introducing safety features to assist the driver, include:

  1. Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB)
  2. Alcohol Interlock Installation Facilitation
  3. Drowsiness and Attention Detection
  4. Distraction Recognition/Prevention
  5. Event (Electronic) Data Recorder (EDR)
  6. Emergency Stop Signal (ESS)
  7. Full-width Frontal Occupant Protection
  8. Head Impact Zone Enlargement for Pedestrians and Cyclists - Enhanced protection in case of a collision
  9. Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA)
  10. Lane Keeping Assist (LKA)
  11. Pole Side Impact Occupant Protection
  12. Reversing Detection for Cars
  13. Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  14. Improved Seat Belt Reminder System for all Seats
  15. Advanced Child Seat Anchorages (i-Size)
  16. Emergency Lane Keeping Systems (ELKS)
  17. Accident Data Recorder (similar to the EDR)
  18. Enhanced Frontal and Side Crash Testing - Requirements to improve occupant protection
  19. Pedestrian and Cyclist Collision Detection and Mitigation Systems

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