Speed limiting technology on vehicles could become mandatory for all vehicles sold in Europe (and the UK) from 2022, after new rules have been provisionally agreed by the EU.

The EU says the plan could help avoid 140,000 serious injuries by 2038 and aims ultimately to cut road deaths to zero by 2050.

The speed limiting requirement would come as part of a raft of new mandatory safety features in the EU which includes lane-keeping assistance, advanced emergency braking, improved safety belts, warning of driver drowsiness and distraction (e.g. smartphone use while driving), intelligent speed assistance (speed limiting), reversing safety with camera or sensors, and data recorder in case of an accident ('black box').

The political agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission in so-called trilogue negotiations is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and Council.

The UK's Department for Transport said the system would also apply in the UK, despite Brexit.

The technology for 'Intelligent Speed Assistance' builds on GPS proximity systems that recognise speed limit road signs and then intervene with the vehicle engine management system to control speed. There are some concerns over the reliability of front facing cameras for sign reading tech.

The European Commission says that in addition to protecting people on European roads, the new advanced safety features will help drivers get gradually used to the new driving assistance technologies that are being rolled out.

Increasing degrees of automation offer significant potential to compensate for human errors and offer new mobility solutions for the elderly and physically impaired. All this should enhance public trust and acceptance of automated cars, supporting the transition towards autonomous driving.