Digital hold-out Dacia will drop its opposition to advanced driving assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control and include them on the “next-generation” of cars, CEO Denis Le Vot has said.
Dacia has resisted incorporating the latest ADAS technologies as it tries to maintain the low-cost ethos of its model range, but it’s being forced to include many of the sensors that enable them in the latest round of European Union-mandated safety regulations starting in July 2024.
“Our job is to define what is essential at the moment in time and this is evolving. Adaptive cruise control will be part of the new generation,” Le Vot said. He confirmed that the EU’s General Safety Regulations 2 (GSRS) have prompted the change.
Le Vot didn’t say which cars would gain the tech first, but GSR2 mandates that emergency lane-keeping assitance, intelligent speed assistance (which monitors speed limits and adjusts speed accordingly) and driver-drowsiness detection will all become mandatory, requiring sensors that can be repurposed to include additional technology such as adaptive cruise without too much extra cost.
Le Vot didn’t put a cost on having to include the additional tech.
The first Dacia likely to gain adaptive cruise control is the Bigster compact SUV arriving in 2024, which will compete in a much higher price segment than that in which Dacia is normally found.
Dacia said at the launch of the Jogger in 2021 that it excluded electronics even to the detriment of lower Euro NCAP safety rating, which awards points for the fitment of advanced driver assistance system.
“Five-star cars are so complicated sometimes that people don’t understand how to use the device and the functionality, so we’re confident and happy with what we have,” product manager Andreea Guinea told Autocar.
Dacia is increasingly winning over new customers as they become priced out of their first-choice cars. Le Vot said the number coming from used cars had declined from 50% to 34% now, without giving a timeframe.