Senators Introduce SAFE Act That Could Mandate Driver-Monitoring Systems
【Summary】The “Stay Aware For Everyone” Act will require the Department of Transportation to look into fitting every new vehicle with a driver monitoring system as a way to reduce distracted driving in the country.
Advanced driver-assist systems have been pushed into the spotlight after the most recent fatal automobile accident involving a Tesla Model S without a human driver in the driver's seat. The accident has brought up questions on how advanced driver-assist systems are regulated in the U.S. and ways to stop drivers from abusing the systems. While automakers are more than happy to portray their systems as ones that can take the driver out of the equation, fully driverless cars are still years away.
Trying To Cut Distracted Driving
After requesting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to introduce enhanced guidelines for advanced driver-assist systems, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey have introduced new legislation that aims to improve automotive safety and reduce accidents in the U.S. More specifically, the legislation looks to cut the number of accidents that occur from distracted driving.
The "Stay Aware for Everyone" (SAFE) Act of 2020 from Markey and Blumenthal will mandate that the Department of Transportation research the role of a driver monitoring system to reduce distracted driving, accidents, and driver disengagement because of advanced driver-assist features. After the findings have been delivered, the legislation would require the Transportation Secretary to introduce a rule to force automakers to fit a driver-monitoring system onto new vehicles within four years. The mandate wouldn't affect vehicles with advanced driver-assist systems, like Tesla's Autopilot and General Motors' Super Cruise, but every new vehicle on sale. After the rule goes into place, automakers would then have two model years to become compliant with the mandate.
Driver Monitoring Is Needed
Driver-monitoring systems vary in the way they monitor the driver, but the majority of automakers fit their vehicles with a camera that tracks the driver's head and eye movement. The camera is in place to make sure the driver is looking forward at the road ahead. Drivers that look away for too long get are warned to pay attention through visual and audible alerts. Some systems go above and beyond by automatically pulling the vehicle to the side of the road and alerting emergency services if the driver ignores the initial warnings.
With multiple reports indicating that consumers have started to become too reliant on driver-assist systems, mandating every new vehicle come with a driver-monitoring system is a good way to protect drivers and pedestrians. Additionally, other countries already have a similar mandate in place. Europe has put a mandate into effect that forces automakers to have a driver-monitoring system and key advanced driver-assist features on new cars by 2022.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Now PHEV Only
Acura Prevision EV Concept Previews Brand’s Electric Future
Hyundai Gets Serious About Electric Performance Cars, Shows off Two Concepts
Ford Looks to Have 100% of EV Sales Be Online
Volkswagen CEO Believes It Will Overtake Tesla in EV Sales by 2025
Report Claims Nissan Leaf Will Be Discontinued by 2025
Autonomous Vehicles Will Require Cities to Change Their Transportation Methods
Rivian, Mercedes-Benz Partner to Produce Electric Commercial Vans
- Premium Chinese EV Brand Zeekr Seeks to Raise $1 Billion in U.S. IPO, According to Sources
- The Polestar 5 Sedan Will Have Dual Electric Motors With 884 HP
- Qualcomm and its Industry Partners Demonstrate C-V2X Technology in Georgia That Ensures School Buses and Fire Trucks Never Get Stuck at Red Lights
- Audi Hits EV Startup NIO With a Trademark Lawsuit Over its Vehicle Naming
- The Tesla Model Y and Model 3 Take the 1st and 2nd Place Spots in the Annual Cars.com ‘American-Made Index’
- Ford to Use Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries for the First Time as it Aims to Produce 600,000 EVs a Year in 2023, Sets Up Global Supply Chain
- Intel’s Self-Driving Car Unit Mobileye Postpones its Planned U.S. IPO That Could Value the Company up to $50 Billion
- BMW i Ventures Invests in Vendia, a Next-Gen Blockchain Company Helping Businesses to Securely Share Data With Third Parties
- General Motors is Doubling its Super Cruise Hands-Free Driving Network to 400,000 Miles of Roads in North America
- Prices For Used EVs Continue to Rise as Gas Cars Drop