10 July, 2024

The 4 Key Things Everyone Should Know about the New ADDW Regulation

Sunset view heavy traffic moving at speed on UK motorway in England.

ADDW… What?

As of July 7, 2024, anyone even remotely connected to the automotive industry should be familiar with Advanced Driver Distraction Warning (ADDW) systems.

This vehicle safety technology has just become mandatory in every new car, truck, and bus model in the EU, and in a few years, it will be a standard feature in all new vehicles on the European market.

In other words, it’s high time we get acquainted with ADDW systems, and their promise to significantly improve road safety:


1. ADDW systems use in-cabin sensors to detect driver distraction and alert drivers in real-time

The goal of Advanced Driver Distraction Warning (ADDW) systems is to enhance road safety by preventing distraction-related accidents.

Using in-cabin sensors and algorithms, an ADDW system continuously tracks eye movements, head positions, and other behaviors that might indicate distraction – such as phone use.

When signs of distraction are detected, the system immediately issues alerts that prompt the driver to refocus on the road. These timely interventions can be crucial in preventing accidents.

Some ADDW systems can also collect data on driver behavior, which can be used to improve future safety features and tailor interventions to individual driving habits. This data-driven approach helps in refining the technology and making it more effective over time.


2. The EU requires ADDW systems in all new vehicle models by July 2024 and in all new vehicles by July 2026

As part of the New Vehicle General Safety Regulation (GSR), the European Union mandates that all new cars, trucks, and buses sold in Europe must include ADDW systems to combat driver distraction,which is a significant factor in many accidents. Compliance is non-negotiable for manufacturers to market their vehicles within the EU.

The European Union has set a two-step timeline for the implementation of ADDW systems:

➤ July 7, 2024: All new vehicle models must be equipped with ADDW systems.

➤ July 7, 2026: Every newly produced vehicle must include ADDW systems.


An engineer in a crash test lab uses a car crash test system to simulate a traffic accident, to obtain the safety parameters of an eco-friendly cutting edge electric vehicle being developed.

3. ADDW systems must meet strict technical requirements and pass extensive testing

To gain type-approval for the EU market, an ADDW system must meet rigorous technical specifications.

First, the systems must be able to accurately detect driver distraction indicators, such as prolonged eye closure, head movement away from the road, and engagement in non-driving-related activities. Once a distraction event has been detected, the ADDW system needs to provide a clear, immediate alert to refocus the driver’s attention on the road.

To ensure reliability, the systems also need to undergo extensive testing under various conditions, including different lighting and weather scenarios. These tests guarantee that the systems perform effectively across a wide range of real-world situations.


4. ADDW systems are a key part of the EU’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate road deaths by 2050

The EU’s Vision Zero initiative was part of its “Europe on the Move” package, introduced in May 2018. By implementing comprehensive safety measures, advanced technologies, and new regulatory policies, Vision Zero aims to eliminate all road fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.

By making ADDW systems mandatory in new vehicles, the EU are taking a significant step toward achieving their vision of zero road fatalities.


To learn more about the requirements for ADDW systems in new vehicles, find more detailed information on the European Commission’s website and through EUR-Lex (32021R1341 and 32019R2144).

Written by Fanny Lyrheden
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