New UN ECE Regulation on Automated Lane Keeping Systems Published
As the automotive industry moves along the path to the development of fully automated vehicles, the recent publication of new United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) Regulation No. 157-00 on Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) represents a major milestone in the establishment of legal requirements covering the necessary automated driving systems. Despite the Regulation’s title specifically referencing "lane keeping", it actually specifies requirements for systems which actively control both the vehicle's lateral movement (i.e. steering) and its longitudinal movement (i.e. acceleration and deceleration) over extended periods without driver input. However, at this stage, the conditions during which such systems are permitted to operate are restricted.
This new Regulation, which was officially published on March 4, 2021, is only applicable to M1 category vehicles, i.e. passenger cars and multipurpose passenger vehicles, and specifies that Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS) may only operate at speeds not exceeding 60 km/h. Furthermore, it restricts the operation of ALKS to roads where pedestrians and cyclists are prohibited and which have a central barrier to separate traffic travelling in opposite directions. Basically, the systems falling within the scope of this Regulation are those which are sometimes referred to as "Traffic Jam Assist" systems. These systems can take over the driving functions when heavy, slow moving traffic is encountered on a motorway/highway. Once activated, these systems regulate the acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle in accordance with traffic flow whilst ensuring that the vehicle follows the road/lane contour, without any input from the driver.
The Regulation specifies numerous design and performance criteria that the ALKS must comply with and specifies test procedures to which an ALKS equipped vehicle must be subjected to demonstrate compliance with those requirements. However, the Regulation also specifies that the vehicle manufacturer must compile documentation detailing the design and operation of the ALKS, the safety concept for the ALKS and evidence to demonstrate that thorough consideration of functional and operational safety has been applied throughout the design and development of the system. This documentation must be submitted to the Technical Service at the time of type approval for them to review. The Technical Service may also request that an ALKS equipped vehicle is subjected to additional testing, beyond the test procedures specified in the Regulation itself, to confirm the safe operation of the system.
The design and performance requirements specified in the Regulation include requirements covering the following:
- Dynamic driving task - Specifying the driving tasks that the system must capable of undertaking when in operation, such as keeping the vehicle within its lane, following the road contour, accelerating and decelerating the vehicle to maintain a safe distance to the vehicle in front, including bringing the vehicle to a complete stop, and adjusting the vehicle speed if a vehicle "cuts in" between the ALKS equipped vehicle and the vehicle it was following.
- Emergency manoeuvre - Specifying that the vehicle must be capable of decelerating the vehicle rapidly when an imminent collision risk is detected.
- Transition to driver control - Specifying the situations where control must be transitioned back to the driver and the conditions that must be met during the transition back to driver control.
- Minimum risk manoeuvre - Specifying that the vehicle must be capable of safely bringing the vehicle to a halt in a non-emergency situation. For example, where the system requires transition back to driver control, but the driver does not assume control.
- Driver availability recognition system - Specifying that the vehicle must be equipped with a driver availability recognition system which constantly monitors the driver to ensure that the driver is available to take over the driving task, if necessary.
- System activation and deactivation - Specifying the conditions which must be met for the system to be activated and the conditions which must cause automatic deactivation of the system, with a suitable transition back to driver control.
- System override - Specifying that the driver must be able to override the system and take back driving control at any time, whilst ensuring that the transition back to driver control in not inadvertently activated by the driver.
- Driver warnings - Specifying the optical, audible and haptic signals that must be provided to the driver to signify operational status of the system and to provide any necessary warnings.
- Sensing requirements - Specifying the minimum forward and lateral detection ranges of the system.
- Data Storage System - Specifying that all ALKS equipped vehicles must be fitted with a Data Storage System for Automated Driving (DSSAD) capable of recording data on the system operation and any interactions between the system and the human driver.
- Cybersecurity - Specifying that the ALKS must comply with the requirements of UN ECE Regulation No. 155-00 on cybersecurity.
- Software updates - Specifying that the procedures and processes for any software updates must comply with the requirements of UN ECE Regulation No. 156-00 on software updates.
The test procedures specified in the Regulation cover a wide range of different scenarios, including:
- Lane Keeping - To demonstrate the vehicle’s ability to remain within its lane at varying speeds and on varying road curvatures, even when the vehicle being followed is swerving within its lane or when there is another vehicle next to the test vehicle in an adjacent lane.
- Collision avoidance - To demonstrate the vehicle’s ability to avoid a collision when there is an obstruction ahead of the vehicle, being either a stationary passenger car, a stationary motorcycle, a stationary pedestrian, a moving pedestrian or multiple obstacles.
- Following a lead vehicle - To demonstrate the vehicle’s ability to follow another vehicle, either a passenger car or motorcycle, at various speeds and with varying levels of acceleration and deceleration of the lead vehicle.
- Lane change of another vehicle - To demonstrate the vehicle’s ability to adjust its speed and avoid a collision when a vehicle "cuts in" between the test vehicle and the vehicle it was following.
- Stationary obstacle after lead vehicle lane change - To demonstrate the vehicle’s ability to avoid a collision where the vehicle which the test vehicle was following performs an evasive manoeuvre to a avoid a stationary obstacle ahead of it.