EU considers mandatory emergency braking system for cars

An EU committee has drawn up a proposal that requires future cars to be equipped with an emergency braking system. The police could thus remotely switch off the engine of a stolen car or a vehicle that is being chased. Civil rights groups are against it.

To force a car to stop remotely, a built-in electronic system would have to cut off the fuel supply to the engine. An immobilizer should also be activated. The emergency stop system should be able to be activated by a police officer from a central control room.

The striking proposal for the mandatory introduction of an emergency braking system is part of the Enlets programme. In this programme, which covers a period of six years, the so-called COSI committee draws up plans that should lead to better cooperation between European police forces. The contents of the Enlets plans, which have been drafted in secret so far, have been published by the civil rights group Statewatch.

According to the initiators, the emergency braking system should be mandatory in all new cars in 5 to 6 years. A European standard should also be formulated. The Cosi committee would like to introduce the system to be able to disable stolen cars remotely, for example. Dangerous chases could also become a thing of the past. The proposals appear to be at a very early stage and many steps still need to be taken before a decision on implementation is actually taken, if at all.

In any case, Statewatch states that, if the plans go through, the freedoms of citizens will be at stake. The risk of misuse or errors of such a system would also be far too great. Earlier there was already a commotion about plans to include a speed limiter in cars.