4 Dec 19

Self-drive? Only if this ‘checklist’ gets done first

Autonomous driving won’t happen unless the right regulations are in place. Europe’s car manufacturers have now published a checklist of the rules needed to make autonomous driving a reality in the EU. 

“Automated driving is a paradigm shift. It will change how we travel and transport goods in Europe,” says Eric-Mark Huitema. The Director General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) hails the technology’s potential to improve road safety, ease congestion, reduce emissions and enhance social inclusion. 

Gradual transition
But – ironically - self-drive tech won’t just arrive by itself. The gradual transition to fully autonomous driving requires active steps by all stakeholders. And that includes the European Commission and the European Parliament – both of which have just begun a new term of office. 

That’s why ACEA thinks the time is right to initiate a dialogue on this topic, and it is kicking it off by publishing a ‘Roadmap for the Deployment of Automated Driving in the EU’. 

The roadmap contains a checklist (see below) for policymakers, detailing the legislative framework – at national, EU and international levels – required to make autonomous driving a reality. 

Infrastructure upgrades
The document also includes a timeline outlining which steps to be taken when over the coming years and decades. 

Regulation is one thing, infrastructure is another requirement. The roadmap outlines the upgrades to the EU’s physical and digital transport infrastructure to make it suitable for automated driving. Equally essential are large-scale, cross-border tests of automated driving systems on open roads across the EU. 

“Automated driving will bring massive changes, so it is crucial to ensure that society at large is ready for it. We must now work towards raising awareness amongst citizens – and their elected representatives – of what all this means,” Mr Huitema concludes. 

See the entire document here. Below is an overview of ACEA’s checklist:

  • Technical regulations/functionalities

This entails a number of agreements at UN level, including a Framework Regulation on autonomous vehicles, regulations on Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) on motorways, Advanced Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS), etc. 

  • Cybersecurity

UN rules on Cyber Security Management System (CSMS) and EU regulations for Cybersecurity for CAD.

  • Software updates

UN rules for software-over-the-air updates.

  • Liability and accident reconstruction

New UN rules on a Data Storage System for Automated Driving (DSSAD), new EU rules on Event Data Recorders (EDR).

  • Mutual recognition

At EU level, Article 20 Exemption Procedure Guidelines.

  • Driver

At UN level, new regulations on driving licenses and on Human Machine Interfaces (HMI). 

  • Traffic rules

At UN level, the Geneva and Vienna Conventions on road traffic need to evolve; as do the various national road traffic laws at country level. 

  • Road infrastructure

The EU needs to update its policies on road signs, vehicle interfaces, and Road Infrastructure Safety Management (RISM). National laws on road signs need to be updated as well. 

  • Road-worthiness

The EU must agree on periodic technical inspections for the upkeep of the required infrastructure. 

  • Social legislation

The EU must update its rules for driving times and tachograph use. 


Image: ACEA

Authored by: Frank Jacobs