New UN ECE Regulation on Advanced Emergency Braking Systems Adopted
Advanced emergency braking systems (AEBS) are systems that detect an impending forward collision, warn the driver and, if the driver takes no action, automatically apply the vehicle’s brakes to avoid or mitigate the severity of the collision. Such systems first began to appear on certain models of passenger car in the late 2000s.
Recognising the potential safety benefits of mandating the fitment of such systems to heavy vehicles, EC Regulation No. 661/2009 on "the type approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units intended therefor" (more commonly known as the General Safety Regulation or GSR) introduced requirements to mandate the fitment of AEBS to all M2, M3, N2 and N3 category vehicles, i.e. buses, coaches and trucks with a GVW exceeding 3,500kg.
In 2016, when the European Commission began work on a major update to the General Safety Regulation, they identified a number of measures that could be implemented to improve road safety, and one of these measures was to require the mandatory fitment of AEBS to M1 and N1 category vehicles, i.e. passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles, such as vans and pick-ups.
However, whereas the systems mandated for fitment to M2, M3, N2 and N3 category vehicles are only required to detect and react to other vehicles, the European Commission proposed that M1 and N1 category vehicles should be fitted with systems that would detect and react to other vehicles and to vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists.
To develop the necessary technical requirements and test procedures for such systems, the European Commission sought assistance from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) via the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29). With support from the representative from Japan, the European Commission proposed the setting up of a specific Informal Working Group on Advanced Emergency Braking Systems for M1 and N1 category vehicles.
The first meeting of this Informal Working Group took place in March 2017, and the first output from this Group is a draft new ECE Regulation covering AEBS systems that can detect and react to both vehicles and pedestrians. Work on developing the necessary technical requirements and test procedures for systems which can detect and react to cyclists is continuing within this Informal Working Group.
The draft new ECE Regulation specifies requirements on the type of warning to be provided to the driver when the system detects an imminent impact, the timing of this warning, the speed reduction to be achieved by the system under various scenarios, measures to avoid false activation of the system, situations where the system can be overridden or deactivated by the driver and the warning to be provided when there is a failure in the system. It also includes specific test procedures to verify that the system complies with these technical requirements.
The draft Regulation was submitted to the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) at its 178th session in June 2019, where it was formally adopted. It has been provisionally given the Regulation No. 152, but has not yet been allocated a provisional entry into force date. Official publication of the final version of ECE 152 is expected during December 2019 or January 2020. However, it should be noted that compliance with this new ECE Regulation will only become mandatory once a Contracting Party requires such compliance in their National / Regional legislation.