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Level 2 driver assistance systems need review

Level 2 driver assistance systems need review

ETSC has reiterated calls for regulators to look again at the safety of vehicles with Level 2 assistance systems as carmakers increase pressure to allow such systems to be operated “hands off”. In a letter to the Financial Times, published in January, ETSC wrote that it is not clear what effect these new technologies are having on road death and injury numbers because crash investigations almost never take into account if such systems were functional at the time of a collision. However, forensic investigations […]

ETSC’s priorities for the Portuguese presidency of the EU

ETSC’s priorities for the Portuguese presidency of the EU

Portugal took over the EU Presidency on 1 January 2021 as the EU continues to grapple with the Covid-19 crisis, which has brought additional challenges for transport and mobility policies.  In a new briefing, ETSC has outlined its recommendations on the key EU road safety policy dossiers to be steered by the Portuguese Presidency over the next six months. The issues covered include the new sustainable and smart mobility strategy, EU-Africa cooperation on road safety, the urban mobility package, opportunities for transport safety funding […]

European Commission announces major package of transport safety initiatives

European Commission announces major package of transport safety initiatives

Updated rules on cross-border enforcement of traffic offences, vehicle roadworthiness, automated vehicles, and driving licenses and a proposal to add eCall automated emergency calling devices to motorcycles, trucks and buses are among a major package of new legislative measures for the transport sector announced by the European Commission last week. The new Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy follows the pattern of recent years of bundling up an array of new related measures into a package rather than announcing them individually. The Commission also says […]

US study shows drivers let their focus slip as they get used to driver assistance systems

US study shows drivers let their focus slip as they get used to driver assistance systems

Drivers fidget with electronics and take both hands off the wheel more often as they develop trust in assistance systems, new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s AgeLab shows. To investigate how experience with partial automation affects driver disengagement, the researchers studied the driving behaviour of 20 volunteers over a month’s time as they gained familiarity with advanced driver assistance features, examining how often they removed both hands from the steering wheel or took their […]

Euro NCAP launches ratings for advanced driver assistance systems

Euro NCAP launches ratings for advanced driver assistance systems

Euro NCAP has launched a new rating scheme for driver assistance systems fitted to the latest generation of vehicles, including advanced cruise control and lane keeping assistance.  Some manufacturers have been criticised for using inappropriate marketing, weak driver monitoring or poor safety backup. For its 2020 assessment of so-called “highway assist” systems, Euro NCAP developed a dedicated test and assessment protocol, divided into two main areas: Assistance Competence, based on the balance between Driver Engagement and Vehicle Assistance, and Safety Backup. The systems score […]

Insurers warn over risks of hands-off automated driving on UK roads

Insurers warn over risks of hands-off automated driving on UK roads

Thatcham Research and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) are urging the UK government to revise its plans to introduce Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) onto UK roads in early 2021 because “it will put road users’ lives at risk”. The organisations say the government should undertake further work to ensure road safety is fully considered before introducing Automated Lane Keeping Systems. The concerns are raised as both the functionality of ALKS technology and the regulations under which they will operate will mean that […]

Ethics of automated vehicles: European Commission publishes independent expert report

Ethics of automated vehicles: European Commission publishes independent expert report

The European Commission has published a report by an independent group of experts on the ethics of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). The report looks at several questions including: who should be responsible in case of a collision when there is no human driver?; how can ethical and responsible data sharing by CAVs be ensured?; and are pedestrians and cyclists more at risk with CAVs in traffic? The expert group outlines twenty recommendations on road safety, privacy, fairness, AI explainability and responsibility for the […]

Volvo targets “hands off” automated motorway driving system from 2022

Volvo targets “hands off” automated motorway driving system from 2022

Volvo cars has said it will launch cars with the hardware necessary for fully automated driving on motorways from 2022.   All currently-available systems in the EU require the driver to remain in charge of the vehicle and to constantly monitor the road, with their hands on the wheel.  Volvo is hoping to take advantage of new, cheaper LIDAR sensors and new software, to offer a system that allows the driver to rely on the automated driving system completely under certain situations.  Such a system […]

Collisions involving “Autopilot”-style driver assistance systems – ETSC welcomes publication of Dutch Safety Board investigation

Collisions involving “Autopilot”-style driver assistance systems – ETSC welcomes publication of Dutch Safety Board investigation

ETSC has welcomed a new report by the Dutch Safety Board that warns of multiple safety risks posed by advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as Tesla Autopilot. The conclusion of a two-year long investigation which encompassed multiple real-world crash investigations, the report raises a number of questions about the safety of ADAS systems, notably those that combine features such as automated cruise control with lane keeping and automated braking. Among the issues raised by the report are: – human factor problems such as […]

“Inadequate safety culture” contributed to fatal Uber automated test vehicle crash

“Inadequate safety culture” contributed to fatal Uber automated test vehicle crash

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has called on the US federal government to create a review process before allowing automated test vehicles to operate on public roads, based upon the agency’s investigation of a fatal collision between an Uber automated test vehicle and a pedestrian. During a board meeting held to determine the probable cause of the Arizona crash on 18 March 2018, the NTSB said Uber’s “inadequate safety culture” contributed to the fatal collision between an Uber automated test vehicle and […]

Driver confusion over different implementations of driver assistance systems needs addressing

Driver confusion over different implementations of driver assistance systems needs addressing

The lack of full standardisation of vehicle controls and the driver interface with driver assistance systems means there is often a ‘human factors’ deficit in which drivers are forced to use systems they do not necessarily fully understand, according to a new report for PACTS, ETSC’s UK founder member. The onset of more vehicle automation may make this worse and urgent action to stop this from happening is needed, according to the authors, Shaun Helman of TRL and Professor Oliver Carsten of the University […]

Automation could reduce collisions by 22% by 2040 say UK researchers

Automation could reduce collisions by 22% by 2040 say UK researchers

Scientists at the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory TRL estimate that the expected mix of automated and non-automated vehicles on the roads by 2040 could lead to 22% fewer collisions than today. The estimation is considerably lower than earlier headline-grabbing reports such as a KPMG analysis published in 2015 that predicted an 80% reduction.  The figure is also lower than the estimated 30% collision reduction benefits of fleet wide fitment of Intelligent Speed Assistance on non-automated vehicles. The KPMG report, and others, have referred back […]

New concerns about over-reliance on driver assistance systems

New concerns about over-reliance on driver assistance systems

Concerns have been raised again about over-reliance on “Level 2” driver assistance systems following the publication of an official US report into a crash involving a Tesla vehicle in “autopilot” mode. The National Transport Safety Board, in its latest report into a crash involving a Tesla, found that the “autopilot” system’s design, which enabled the driver to disengage from the driving task, contributed to the crash. Driver inattention and use of the system in a way which was “inconsistent with guidance and warnings from […]

US consumer organisation raises concerns over latest Tesla “autopilot” features

US consumer organisation raises concerns over latest Tesla “autopilot” features

A new feature which enables Tesla vehicles to change lane without the driver’s intervention has been criticised by the American consumer organisation Consumer Reports. The organisation, which carried out its own tests on the feature, and interviewed drivers and law enforcement officials, says the system is less competent than a human driver. The tests found that the car would cut off other drivers without leaving enough space, didn’t respond well to fast-moving vehicles coming from the rear and appeared not to react to stop […]

UK and Sweden set for automated car trials as manufacturers more cautious on part-time automation

UK and Sweden set for automated car trials as manufacturers more cautious on part-time automation

The UK department for transport has updated its code of practice for trials of autonomous vehicles on British roads to potentially enable use of safety drivers not inside the vehicle but supervising and operating cars by remote control. The updated requirements, published by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, also set out the need for organisations carrying out tests to undertake risk assessments and publish safety information and trial performance reports. Meanwhile the Swedish Transport Agency has approved an application from Zenuity, a […]

Hype around automated cars is dangerously confusing drivers says Euro NCAP

Hype around automated cars is dangerously confusing drivers says Euro NCAP

One in 10 drivers would be tempted to have a nap while using a so-called ‘Highway Assist’ system, such as Adaptive Cruise Control, according to new research published this month alongside new Euro NCAP tests of cars featuring advanced driver assistance systems.  In a separate briefing, also published this month, ETSC has called on the European Commission to set out plans for addressing the risks of driver over-reliance on automated systems and reiterated that there needs to be much more transparency around the approval […]

UK insurers announce grading scheme for driver assistance systems

UK insurers announce grading scheme for driver assistance systems

Thatcham Research and the ABI (Association of British Insurers) have called on carmakers and legislators for greater clarity around the capability of vehicles sold with driver assistance and automated driving technologies. The call comes in the wake of growing reports of people crashing whilst over-relying on technology which is not yet designed to drive the car independently. The risks to drivers have been outlined in the new ‘Assisted and Automated Driving Definition and Assessment’ paper, which has identified dangerous grey areas associated with some […]

ETSC raises questions over driver understanding of lane change systems

ETSC raises questions over driver understanding of lane change systems

ETSC has written to the European Commission for the second time this year regarding concerns over the safety and approval process for new driver assist systems including lane change systems. Earlier this year, new rules on the functionality of lane change assist systems were agreed at the UNECE in Geneva.  The rules could be integrated within EU law within a few months, meaning car manufacturers will be able to “type approve” vehicles fitted with such a system for sale across the EU. Such systems […]

OECD report on automation challenges belief that self-driving vehicles will wipe out 90% of road crashes

OECD report on automation challenges belief that self-driving vehicles will wipe out 90% of road crashes

A new report by the International Transport Forum of the OECD examines how increasing automation of cars and trucks could affect road safety, and which security vulnerabilities will need to be addressed with the rise of self-driving vehicles. It applies the principles of the Safe System approach and relevance of Vision Zero for road safety to the wider discussion on vehicle automation. The report addresses a critical misunderstanding of road safety crash data that has led to an oft-repeated myth about automated cars – […]

New EU vehicle safety standards could prevent 25,000 deaths within 15 years

New EU vehicle safety standards could prevent 25,000 deaths within 15 years

European Commission announces major package of road safety measures including new targets to cut road deaths and serious injuries in half by 2030; World’s most advanced new car safety standards will make life-saving technologies such as Automated Emergency Braking and overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance a standard feature on all new vehicles; currently these features are only available as an option on some models; Race on for proposals to be approved by 28 EU Member States and the European Parliament. Veuillez trouver ci-dessous la version […]

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