Automation

Opinion: The USA is collecting data on crashes involving ADAS systems.  Why isn’t the EU?

Opinion: The USA is collecting data on crashes involving ADAS systems. Why isn’t the EU?

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director Last month NHTSA, a US government agency, released its first set of data on crashes involving vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).  In the ten months since mandatory reporting began, there have been around 400 reported incidents.  How about in Europe, a market comparable in size?  Nobody knows. There is no equivalent to NHTSA that covers the whole of the EU.  A car approved in […]

UK launches road crash investigation authority

UK launches road crash investigation authority

The UK government has announced the forthcoming creation of an independent organisation that will investigate road crashes and make recommendations to government on road safety policy. The “Road Safety Investigation Branch (RSIB)” will recruit a specialist team of crash investigators that will look at why incidents happen and “provide insight into how new technologies…can be rolled out.” New legislation is required for the new agency to go ahead, and this […]

Response to the draft implementing act on certain automated driving systems (ADS)

Response to the draft implementing act on certain automated driving systems (ADS)

The European Commission published a draft of its upcoming implementing act setting out the technical requirements and test procedures for the type approval of certain vehicles with an automated driving system (ADS). The rules would apply to the following use cases: ‘Self-driving shuttles’, which are designed to carry passengers or goods on a predefined area in an urban or suburban environment; ‘Hub-to-Hub’ transport, which covers fully automated vehicles or dual […]

Europe’s first cars with Level 3 automated driving go on sale in Germany

Europe’s first cars with Level 3 automated driving go on sale in Germany

Two new models from Mercedes-Benz have gone on sale in Germany with an automated system capable of taking complete control of the vehicle away from the driver under certain circumstances.  ETSC says more oversight is needed of such systems, together with a commitment to an in-depth crash investigation for every collision involving a vehicle with self-driving features. ETSC has repeatedly called for the setting up of an EU road collision […]

ETSC and Dutch Safety Board want improvements to assisted driving standards

ETSC and Dutch Safety Board want improvements to assisted driving standards

The ETSC, together with founder-member the Dutch Safety Board, have written to the European Commission raising a number of concerns about the regulation of assisted driving systems. The Dutch Safety Board has investigated a number of collisions involving driver assistance systems in the past, and published a groundbreaking report on the issue in 2019. ETSC and the Dutch Safety Board have already raised numerous concerns about these driver assistance systems […]

UK law commissions say manufacturers should be responsible for self-driving car crashes

UK law commissions say manufacturers should be responsible for self-driving car crashes

A new report from the UK’s independent law commissions recommends introducing a new Automated Vehicles Act, to regulate vehicles that can drive themselves. It also recommends drawing a clear distinction between features which just assist drivers, such as Tesla’s Autopilot, and those that are fully self-driving. Under the law commissions’ proposals, when a car is authorised by a regulatory agency as having “self-driving features” and those features are in-use, the […]

As Mercedes launches Europe’s first Level-3 automated vehicle system, it’s time for an EU crash investigation authority

As Mercedes launches Europe’s first Level-3 automated vehicle system, it’s time for an EU crash investigation authority

ETSC is repeating its call for the setting up of an EU road collision investigation authority to conduct forensic analysis of crashes involving automated vehicles on EU roads. The call follows the announcement yesterday by Mercedes-Benz of the German launch of ‘Drive Pilot’, a system that allows for hands-off automated driving in traffic at speeds up to 60 km/h on German motorways.  This is the first approval of a Level […]

UK government may launch a road collision investigation authority

UK government may launch a road collision investigation authority

A new “investigation branch” dedicated to learning lessons from road traffic collisions, including those involving self-driving vehicles, could be established under plans unveiled by the UK government last month. The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a consultation on proposals to set up a Road Collision Investigation Branch (RCIB), which would operate much like the similar independent bodies that already exist for air, maritime and rail collisions. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch […]

Dutch data extraction breakthrough could lead to better road crash investigations

Dutch data extraction breakthrough could lead to better road crash investigations

The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), a Dutch government institution, says it is the first research organisation to successfully read and publish the encoded driving data stored in Tesla vehicles, beyond what is available via the Event Data Recorder (EDR). The results, which have already been presented at a conference, could help independent researchers around the world better understand the role driver assistance systems such as Tesla “Autopilot” may or may not […]

MEPs back 2030 EU road safety plans

MEPs back 2030 EU road safety plans

The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to back a document setting out the institution’s views on the EU road safety strategy for the next ten years. The Parliament’s report follows the publication of the European Commission’s ten year road safety plan published back in June 2019, and an outline of planned legislative measures announced in the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy published in December last year. MEPs have endorsed the overall EU […]

US authorities begin investigation of Level 2 driver assistance systems

US authorities begin investigation of Level 2 driver assistance systems

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun a wide-ranging investigation of the safety of driver assistance systems prompted by several collisions involving cars that had driver assistance systems activated and emergency service vehicles. NHTSA initially sent a letter to Tesla last month requiring the company to provide extensive data on usage and operation of its so-called Autopilot system by 22 October. The agency has since widened the scope […]

European Parliament transport committee backs 2030 road safety programme

European Parliament transport committee backs 2030 road safety programme

MEPs on the European Parliament’s transport committee have voted through a document setting out the institution’s views on the EU road safety strategy for the next ten years. The Parliament’s ‘own initiative   follows the publication of the European Commission’s ten year road safety plan published back in June 2019, and an outline of planned legislative measures announced in the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy published in December last year. Overall strategy MEPs […]

Letter: Concerns over Electronic Data Recorder specifications

Letter: Concerns over Electronic Data Recorder specifications

ETSC has written to the European Commission due to concerns that is it set to prohibit Electronic Data Recorders (black boxes) in new cars from capturing data on the location, date and time of events. Prohibiting the recording of such information would hamper in-depth crash analysis – one of the main purposes of electronic data recorders. Such data is essential to understanding why collisions occur and preventing future ones, and […]

UK will allow automated driving on motorways this year

UK will allow automated driving on motorways this year

The UK is set to be the first European country to permit vehicles to be operated using a form of automated driving made possible by so-called automated lane keeping systems (ALKS), following an agreement on the specifications for ALKS at the UNECE in Geneva last summer. ALKS systems can be operated at up to 60 km/h on separated highways where pedestrians and cyclists are prohibited (e.g. motorways).  The systems have […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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