ECE Regulation on Steering Updated to Cover Further Automatically Commanded Steering Functions
Back in 2015, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) Working Party responsible for steering systems, the Working Party on Brakes and Running Gear (GRRF), recognised the need to develop new legal requirements to cover advanced driver assistance systems such as park assist systems, lane keep assistance systems, etc. Therefore, at that time, they set up an Informal Group on Automatically Commanded Steering Functions to develop the necessary requirements.
The initial output from this Informal Group became the 02 series of amendments to ECE Regulation No. 79 on steering systems, which were published on 30th November 2017. Within this 02 series of amendments, definitions for six "categories" of automatically commanded steering functions (ACSF) were introduced; Categories A, B1, B2, C, D and E. However, in the 02 series of amendments, only requirements for automatically commanded steering functions that fell into Category A (park assist systems) and/or Category B1 (lane keep assist systems) were specified.
Since that time, the Informal Group on Automatically Commanded Steering Functions have continued to work on the development of requirements to cover the other Categories of ACSF and, at the end of 2017, the Informal Group finalised a proposed set of amendments to ECE Regulation No. 79 to introduce the following:
- New requirements to cover ACSF Category C systems, ie. lane change assist systems.
- A new definition and new requirements to cover an Emergency Steering Function (ESF), ie. a function which automatically detects a potential collision and automatically steers the vehicle to avoid or mitigate such a collision.
- Updates to the Annex to ECE Regulation No. 79 which specifies the special requirements to be applied to the safety aspects of electronic control systems (Annex 6), including the addition of a model assessment form for Technical Services to complete when assessing compliance with the requirements of this Annex.
The technical requirements developed by the Informal Group cover the conditions under which the system may be activated, the operation of the system, the maximum steering efforts required to override the system and the warnings to be provided to the driver when the system is operational. They also include specific test procedures to verify that the system complies with these technical requirements.
On 2nd November 2018, these new requirements were officially published as the 03 series of amendments to ECE Regulation No. 79.
With regard to introduction dates, from 1st September 2019, new type approvals to ECE 79 may only be issued to vehicles equipped with ACSF Category C or ESF systems if they comply with the 03 series of amendments; from 1st September 2021, Contracting Parties applying ECE 79 may refuse national or regional type approval to vehicles equipped with ACSF Category C or ESF systems if they do not comply with the 03 series of amendments.