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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 […]

European Commission set to announce major new road safety package

European Commission set to announce major new road safety package

The European Commission will announce a major package of road safety legislation next month including new vehicle safety standards, revised rules on infrastructure safety management, a strategy on automated driving as well as a new overarching road safety framework setting targets for the decade to 2030. The announcements, expected on 16 May, are being published after lengthy delays and several years of slow to non-existent progress on reducing road deaths and serious injuries in the EU. Figures published earlier this month showed that deaths […]

UK government announces three-year legal review of automated vehicles

UK government announces three-year legal review of automated vehicles

The UK government has commissioned a detailed review of driving laws to “examine any legal obstacles to the widespread introduction of self-driving vehicles and highlight the need for regulatory reforms”. The project will review and answer key questions, such as: who is the ‘driver’ or responsible person, as appropriate; how to allocate civil and criminal responsibility where there is some shared control in a human-machine interface; the role of automated vehicles within public transport networks and emerging platforms for on-demand passenger transport, car sharing […]

Opinion: A threat to progress on preventing road deaths

Opinion: A threat to progress on preventing road deaths

The hype surrounding automated driving threatens to hold back progress over the next few years in reducing the 1.25m deaths that occur annually on the world’s roads. By 2030, there may well be a few million self-driving cars globally, but there will also be more than 1bn cars driving that do not have such features. Many of those vehicles are the ones that will leave factories this year and next. The issue is that policymakers, as well as carmakers, are becoming so obsessed with […]

Volvo dials down the hype on automated driving trial

Volvo dials down the hype on automated driving trial

Volvo Cars has reduced the scale of its Drive Me automated driving trial and delayed the roll-out of fully-automated driving features to real-world users. The project, which has the support of the city of Gothenburg and the Swedish Government, was first announced in 2013 with the aim of testing 100 self-driving vehicles from 2017 with members of the public in the driving seat in every-day conditions on specially-chosen roads. But the revised plan signals a more cautious approach.   The company announced in December that […]

US report urges better safeguards for automated cars following Tesla crash investigation

US report urges better safeguards for automated cars following Tesla crash investigation

A comprehensive investigation by the US National Transport Safety Board into a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model S and a heavy goods vehicle in Florida last year recommends that carmakers prevent drivers from activating automated driving features in situations that they were not designed for. The board’s final report, published in September, found that a truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way and a car driver’s inattention due to overreliance on vehicle automation were the probable causes of the fatal crash. […]

Euro NCAP outlines 2025 roadmap on car safety

Euro NCAP outlines 2025 roadmap on car safety

Euro NCAP has announced plans setting out how the consumer safety testing programme will evolve and respond to new vehicle safety technologies in the near future. The organisation says it will challenge vehicle manufacturers to offer the best possible technology as standard in all segments and countries, protecting not only car occupants of all ages but also increasingly addressing the safety of other more vulnerable road users. The roadmap outlines a timeline for the introduction of key testing enhancements, including: Primary safety Driver Monitoring […]

Netherlands and Spain advance autonomous vehicle plans

Netherlands and Spain advance autonomous vehicle plans

The Netherlands may soon allow testing of autonomous vehicles without a driver on board and the Spanish government is working on a strategic plan for driverless and connected vehicles. Autonomous car tests have been possible in the Netherlands since 2015, though a driver was required to be in the driving seat at all times. The new proposal from transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen is for cars to operate with a “remote driver”. Companies will have to apply for a special license which will […]

UK House of Lords reality check on self-driving cars

UK House of Lords reality check on self-driving cars

A new report published by the UK’s upper house of parliament has warned that the safety and economic benefits of automated vehicles are unproven and urges the government to “not lose sight” of other possibilities to reduce road casualties. The sixty page report for the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee says the government needs to implement a ‘joined-up’, wider transport strategy that puts the development of autonomous vehicles within the context of broader goals. The current approach, focussing on autonomous passenger […]

Tesla autopilot updates change rules on speeding

Tesla autopilot updates change rules on speeding

Tesla’s latest software update has reversed an earlier change that capped the speed of its Autopilot driver assistance system at the posted speed limit on undivided roads. Tesla’s Model S cars received an initial software update just before Christmas that introduced the new restriction.  That update was linked to a crash earlier in the year of a Tesla vehicle in Florida that was operating in Autopilot mode, and travelling at 74 mph in a 65 mph zone. But earlier this month, a new update […]

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

Governments race to outline future plans for self-driving cars

The United States, China, Germany, Australia and the UK are among the countries to have made major announcements on rules governing self-driving cars in recent months, while the EU’s transport commissioner has promised a ‘master plan’ by the end of the year. ETSC says many safety questions remain unanswered. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a set of guidelines in September that called for voluntary reporting from carmakers on how their systems were tested, how they work and what happens if […]

Germany to Tesla: “Stop using the name Autopilot”

Germany to Tesla: “Stop using the name Autopilot”

The German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has written to Tesla calling on the company to stop using the ‘misleading’ term ‘Autopilot’ in its advertising. According to Reuters, the letter was sent last month and was followed by a letter from the KBA – The German Federal Motor Transport Authority – to all Tesla owners warning that their cars could not be operated without their ‘constant attention’. Tesla has apparently rejected the request to change the name of its system – the German version of […]

Opinion: It’s time to get serious about self-driving cars

Opinion: It’s time to get serious about self-driving cars

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director A shorter version of this article was published as a letter in the Financial Times on 24 August 2016. The recent death of a man driving a Tesla electric car in ‘Autopilot’ mode raises many questions for policymakers, vehicle manufacturers and the public at large. Regarding the specific crash in question, an official investigation is underway and expected to report within 12 months.  But several facts have already been made public. Firstly, the car was travelling above the speed limit. […]

Automated vehicles need ‘driving tests’

Automated vehicles need ‘driving tests’

EU rules on safety approvals for new cars will need to be revised to include ‘driving tests’ for automated and fully-autonomous vehicles according to a new report from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). ETSC says the EU is far from answering the many research and regulatory questions that must be considered before automated and autonomous vehicles can be put on sale. The report says the priority must be ensuring that the promised safety benefits are delivered in real world driving. One challenge will […]

US government report highlights risks of increasing use of automation in aviation sector

US government report highlights risks of increasing use of automation in aviation sector

Aircraft automation can improve efficiency and reduce pilot workload, but recent incidents have shown that pilots that typically fly with automation can make errors when confronted with an unexpected event or when transitioning to manual flying, according to a U.S. Department of Transport Inspector General report published last month. The US Federal Aviation Administration estimates that automation is used 90 percent of the time in flight. “Reliance on automation is a growing concern among industry experts, who have also questioned whether pilots are provided […]

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