On 17 May 2018 the European Commission adopted a strategy paper on automated driving . The paper was published as part of the EC’s third mobility package, which also includes new vehicle safety standards, updated rules on road infrastructure safety management and a strategic action plan on road safety.
This short briefing reflects ETSC’s first analysis of the paper with suggestions for areas that need further development. ETSC warmly welcomes, and fully agree with the Commission’s acknowledgement that when it comes to automated mobility, “only the highest safety and security standards will suffice”. This must remain the guiding principle in the years to come. Automated driving has the potential to significantly improve road safety. However, recent collisions involving vehicles with automated technology on board demonstrate that automated driving may also pose new risks to road safety, and that the technology is not yet mature.
This briefing builds on an earlier, wide-ranging ETSC publication that outlined the main areas that need to be addressed to ensure the safe rollout of automated driving in Europe.
To the Members of the European Parliament:
- Ensure the adoption of life-saving technologies already available on the market, by supporting the Commission’s proposal revising the General Safety Regulation for motor vehicles;
- Accelerate the deployment of connectivity to help prepare for automation and improve road safety in the short term, by calling for a Commission proposal mandating the deployment of those C-ITS services enhancing road safety;
- Participate in the UNECE regulatory process to ensure the timely progress and content of technical vehicle regulations.
To the European Commission:
- In the short term, improve the transparency of the exemption procedure for the approval of new vehicle technologies;
- Examine the risks posed by drivers’ overreliance and lack of understanding of the capabilities and limitations of level 2 systems, and ensure that all drivers are well informed;
- Present a comprehensive approach to the type approval and market surveillance of automated/autonomous vehicles as well as vehicles with automated driving technologies on board. This approach should ensure that an automated vehicle will pass a comprehensive test equivalent to a ‘driving test’ and show that it performs at a level at least as high as the best human drivers on the road;
- Support independent research to identify the best solutions for the design of clear internal and external HMI as well as research into the safety implications of driver dis-engagement and re-engagement during automated driving;
- Establish a bespoke EU road safety agency, staffed with technical, legal and road safety experts, that could develop technical vehicle safety regulations;
- Enable the European Parliament to participate in the UNECE regulatory process and ensure that all its Members are sufficiently informed to properly scrutinise both the progress of development as well as the content of the technical rules.