19th January 2019
By Chris Saunders
Under proposed EU laws, all new cars will be required to feature ‘black box’ data loggers, intelligent speed assistance systems, autonomous emergency braking and lane keeping assistance. Only time will tell if all aspects of these proposals are put into action, and no doubt some drivers will resist the idea of instruments in their vehicles keeping ever-closer tabs on their driving practices. Yet, whatever the outcome of the proposed law, or the UK’s intended departure from the EU itself for that matter, one thing is for certain; in-car technology will play an increasingly important role in ensuring driver safety over the next decade. Furthermore, said technology is continually evolving to reduce the likelihood and the severity of accidents, and vehicles today are safer than ever before.
Technology drives safety
Electronic tyre pressure checks, for example, have long been used as a simple way of checking a factor in a vehicle’s safety. Meanwhile, as developments related to the Internet of Things (IoT) technology gather pace, vehicle telematics have become more common, tracking driving behaviours in order to assess insurance premiums and advise on safer practices. The data logging technology proposed as part of the new laws relies on precisely this IoT infrastructure.
However, in-vehicle technology alone is not enough to keep motorists safe. Driver behaviour will, of course, always be a critical factor.
The role of dealerships
Dealerships also have a major part to play both in vehicle safety.
Checking that tyre treads are of a safe and legal depth, for example, is a small and simple way that dealerships can help enhance the safety – and compliance – of the drivers and vehicles that pass through their doors. So, too, is checking that brake systems are operating effectively.
Such services can form part of comprehensive vehicle health checks, delivered as part of an aftersales service. Any dealership can offer basic mechanical support and advice, but delivering thorough vehicle health checks is not only a useful additional revenue stream – it actively helps to keep motorists safer, by identifying small vehicle problems before they escalate. autoVHC’s electronic vehicle health check system is designed to provide a clear, consistent workflow for completing such checks, making it easier for dealerships to offer a standardised service and providing intelligent analytics for identifying problems more easily.
Electronic vehicle health checks also enable the collection and analysis of a wealth of data relating to vehicle performance and condition, which can then be used to make more intelligent decisions relating to vehicle maintenance, ultimately improving motorist safety.
The smartest dealerships will not stop there, however. There are plenty of ways in which driver and passenger safety can be the catalyst for further value-added services, such as seasonal approaches to vehicle maintenance (fitting winter tyres, for example), or delivering advice sessions on safe driving practices. As the number of new vehicle registrations continues to fluctuate, it is important for dealerships to develop such alternate services.
Laws and regulations are vital pieces of the puzzle in keeping people safe on the roads. However, proactive and voluntary actions, such as dealerships taking a more sophisticated approach to the prevention of accidents and the mitigation of their impact, also have a crucial role to play.