Draft EU Regulation on Driver Drowsiness and Attention Warning Systems Published
The mandatory fitment of Driver Drowsiness and Attention Warning (DDAW) systems is one of the new safety features mandated by EU Regulation 2019/2144 on "the type approval requirements of motor vehicles and their trailers, and systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, as regards their general safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users", more commonly referred to as General Safety Regulation 2 or GSR 2. Driver Drowsiness and Attention Warning (DDAW) systems are defined in (EU) 2019/2144 as systems that "assess the driver's alertness though vehicle systems analysis and warn the driver if needed". From July 6, 2022, the fitment of DDAW systems becomes mandatory for all new types of M and N category vehicle (i.e. all passenger carrying and all goods carrying motor vehicles) and, from July 7, 2024, the fitment of such systems will become mandatory for all new vehicles falling into those categories.
Over the past few years, the European Commission have undertaken detailed research into DDAW systems, including consultations with various vehicle and component manufacturers that have developed such systems, to assist them in developing detailed technical requirements and test procedures that can be used for the type approval of DDAW systems. The results of this work were published by the European Commission on February 8, 2021, in the form of a draft Delegated Regulation on the test procedures and technical requirements for the type approval of DDAW systems, with the reference Ares(2021)1075107.
The draft Regulation specifies a number of technical requirements that DDAW systems must comply with. These include requirements on:
- Operating conditions - Specifying the conditions under which the system must be operable, e.g. the DDAW system must be automatically activated at speeds above 70 km/h, the system must operate under both daytime and night time conditions, etc.
- Performance criteria - Specifying the driver drowsiness level at which a warning must be given and giving examples of the criteria that can be used to assess driver drowsiness.
- Driver warnings - Specifying the types and combinations of visual, audible and other warnings that are required/permissible.
- System failure - Specifying the failures within the DDAW system which must be detected and how they must be advised to the driver.
- Roadworthiness testing provisions - Specifying how the correct operational status of the DDAW must be able to be determined during a roadworthiness test.
With regard to the test procedures specified in the draft Regulations, the European Commission have had to adopt a slightly unconventional approach. The reason for this is that, during their research into DDAW systems, it quickly became apparent that, due to the variety of methods being adopted by different vehicle and component manufactures to assess the "drowsiness" of the driver, it would not be possible to define one set of test procedures which could adequately assess the performance of all DDAW systems. Therefore, the draft Regulation proposes the following approach:
- Vehicle manufacturers are required to compile a dossier of information containing technical details of their DDAW system and its operation, details of the test procedures used to determine the effectiveness of the DDAW system and their rationale for selecting these test procedures and a full set of test results from the validation tests undertaken on the DDAW systems using human participants. The vehicle manufacturer must also identify one test procedure/test scenario that the Technical Service can undertake to verify the performance of the system.
- The Technical Service will fully assess all of the information provided by the vehicle manufacturer to ensure that all aspects of the DDAW system’s design, operation and performance have been duly considered and that the test results from the validation tests adequately demonstrate compliance with the specified requirements. The Technical Service will also carry the test procedure/test scenario defined by the vehicle manufacturer to verify the performance of the system.
Although vehicle manufacturers are permitted a reasonable amount of freedom and flexibility in determining the precise testing regimes used to assess the performance of their systems, the draft Regulation does specify a number of criteria that must be complied with for all testing regimes. For example:
- Driver drowsiness must be assessed using the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) or by a method that is demonstrated as being equivalent to KSS.
- At least 10 human participants must be included in the validation tests.
- Each test participant must generate at least one true positive result (where the DDAW system correctly identifies a "drowsy" driver) or at least one false negative result (where the DDAW system does not correctly identify a "drowsy" driver).
The draft Regulation specifies a statistical approach which must be applied to the results achieved from the validation tests to verify the DDAW system’s compliance with applicable minimum performance thresholds.
The draft Regulation is available on InterRegs.NET for our EU subscribers and is also available at www.selectregs.com.