Latest Articles

October 2018
ECE Adopts Updated Requirements on Selective Catalyst Reduction Systems for Light Duty Vehicles

The World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) has recently adopted a proposed Supplement 7 to United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) ...

September 2018
China Introduces Reduced Fuel Consumption Limits for Heavy Duty Vehicles

The Chinese government have recently published an updated version of the Chinese Standard specifying the maximum permissible fuel consumption limits for heavy duty ...

August 2018
New EU Regulation on Heavy Duty Vehicle CO2 Emissions Monitoring Published

As part of the European Union's plans to implement a CO2 emissions reduction regime for heavy duty vehicles, on 9th July 2018, a new EU Regulation on the monitoring and ...

2018

July 2018
New EU Type Approval Framework Regulation Published

On 14th June 2018, the new EU Regulation on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical ...

June 2018
EU Proposes New Regulation to Repeal and Replace (EC) No. 661/2009

On 17th May 2018, the European Commission published a draft new EU Regulation that will repeal and replace EC Regulation No. 661/2009 on the type approval requirements ...

May 2018
The FMCSA issues a Request for Comments to Identify Regulatory Barriers to Introducing Automated Driving Systems on Commercial Motor Vehicles in Interstate Commerce

This month's Spotlight article highlights another opportunity for stakeholder input for revising current regulations and/or drafting new ones regarding autonomous ...

April 2018
New Brazilian Resolution on Side Impact Protection Published

In January 2018, the Brazilian National Traffic Council (CONTRAN) published a new Resolution covering vehicle occupant protection requirements in the event of a side ...

March 2018
Draft ECE Regulation on International Whole Vehicle Type Approval (IWVTA) Adopted

In November 2017, at their 173rd session, the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) finally adopted the new United Nations Economic Commission for ...

February 2018
The NHTSA and the FHWA Issue Requests for Comments / Information to Identify Regulatory Barriers to Introducing Automated Driving Systems

Automated Driving Systems (ADSs) are increasingly being tested and introduced onto the public roadways. Although predicted by most to save lives and decrease injuries ...

January 2018
EU Proposes Mandatory Fitment of Onboard Fuel Consumption Measuring Devices

On 12th December 2017, the European Commission published a draft Regulation proposing the mandatory fitment of onboard fuel consumption measuring devices to all light ...

2017

December 2017
EU Proposes Post 2020 CO2 Emissions Targets for Light Duty Vehicles

The European Commission have recently published a draft Regulation proposing average CO2 emissions targets to be applied to light duty vehicles for the period beyond 2020 ...

November 2017
NHTSA and the U.S. DOT Update Voluntary Guidance Policy for Automated Vehicles

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are continuing their quest to support the introduction of ...

October 2017
EU Updates Requirements on Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS)

EU Regulation No. 2017/1576, which was published on 19th September 2017, amends EU Regulation No. 540/2014 on the sound levels produced by motor vehicles to introduce new ...

September 2017
ECE Clarifies Anti-Lock Brake System Deactivation Switch Requirements for Motorcycles

On 26th July 2017, an 04 series of amendments to United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) Regulation No. 78 covering the braking requirements for all L ...

August 2017
New EU Regulations on Light Duty Vehicle Emissions Published

On 7th July 2017, five important new EU Regulations on light duty vehicle emissions were published in the Official Journal of the European Union. These new EU Regulations ...

July 2017
Updated ECE Requirements on Automatically Commanded Steering Functions Proposed

To address the rapid development and deployment of advanced driver assistance systems that has occurred in the last couple of years, the World Forum for Harmonisation of ...

June 2017
Amendments to EU Requirements on Access to Repair and Maintenance Information Proposed

At a Technical Committee - Motor Vehicles (TCMV) meeting on 11th May 2017, the European Commission presented draft amendments to both the light duty vehicle and heavy ...

May 2017
Draft Indian Standard on New Mandatory Safety Features Published

In October 2016, the Indian Ministry of Transport and Highways published a proposal to mandate the fitment of speed warning devices, safety belt reminders, manual ...

April 2017
Expanded ECE Requirements on Safety Belt Reminder Fitment Proposed

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) Regulation No. 16 on safety belts and restraints systems currently mandates the fitment of a safety belt reminder ...

March 2017
European Commission Guidance Document on "Defeat Devices" Published

To address the highly publicised "emissions scandal", the European Commission have instigated a number of changes to the European Union's legal requirements on emissions ...

February 2017
EU Regulation on the Technical Requirements for eCall Systems Published

Following the publication of EU Regulation No. 2015/758, which mandated the fitment of in-vehicle eCall systems to all new types of M1 and N1 category vehicle from 31st ...

January 2017
NHTSA Issues Final Rule to Reduce the Risk of Pedestrian Crashes by Establishing Minimum Sound Requirements for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Listen for those electric and hybrid vehicles -- soon to be heard. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a Final Rule on December 14, 2016 ...

2016

December 2016
New UN ECE Regulations Created Due to "Splitting" of Existing Regulations

At their 169th session, the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29), formally adopted three new United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE ...

November 2016
Further Draft European Union Regulation on Real Driving Emissions Published

At a Technical Committee - Motor Vehicles (TCMV) meeting on 3rd October 2016, the European Commission presented their first draft of the "third package" of ...

October 2016
USDOT and NHTSA Issue Federal Automated Vehicles Policy - Accelerating the Next Revolution in Roadway Safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the long-awaited guidance document covering usage of ...

September 2016
ECE Regulation on Rear Vision Updated to Permit Camera Based Systems

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) Regulation on indirect vision requirements, ECE 46.04, has recently been amended to allow the fitment of camera ...

August 2016
Draft EU Regulation on Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS) Published

Acoustic vehicle alerting systems (AVAS) are sound generating systems fitted to pure electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Their purpose is to generate sound when the ...

July 2016
NHTSA Issues Final Rule to Standardize Lighting and Marking Requirements for Agricultural Equipment in US

The National Highway Transportation Association (NHTSA) has issued a rare Final Rule regarding agricultural equipment. NHTSA has not regulated the manufacture of most ...

June 2016
European Union Proposal on Heavy Duty Vehicle CO2 Emissions Published

At a Technical Committee - Motor Vehicles (TCMV) meeting on 12th May 2016, the European Commission presented a first draft of an EU Implementing Regulation to introduce ...

May 2016
New European Union Requirements on Real Driving Emissions Published

The new EU requirements on real driving emissions (RDE), which introduce a new "on road" emissions test using a portable emissions measuring system (PEMS), have now been ...

April 2016
Proposal to Introduce the WLTP into the EU Emissions Requirements

To address concerns that the test procedure and drive cycle currently used for light duty vehicle emissions testing, known as the New European Drive Cycle or NEDC, does ...

March 2016
European Commission Proposes New Regulation to Replace 2007/46/EC

On 27th January, 2016, the European Commission published a draft new EU Regulation on the type approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, ...

February 2016
NHTSA Requests Comments on Proposals for Revising the New Car Assessment Program

The National Highway Transportation Association (NHTSA) considers the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) a success as indicated by the continued growth in consumer ...

January 2016
New ECE Regulation on Frontal Impact Adopted

At the 167th session of the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) in November 2015, a new UN ECE Regulation on frontal impact was adopted. This new ...

2015

December 2015
ECE Regulation on Glazing Updated to Permit Plastic Windscreens

On 9th November, 2015, Supplement 4 to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) Regulation on glazing, ECE 43.01, was published. This Supplement ...

November 2015
Amendments to the EU General Safety Regulation Proposed to Update the List of UN ECE Regulations that Apply on a Compulsory Basis

At a Technical Committee - Motor Vehicles (TCMV) meeting held on 6th October, 2015, the European Commission submitted a proposal to amend the General Safety Regulation, ( ...

October 2015
Proposal to add Particulate Matter Measurement into the EU Heavy Duty In-Service Emissions Testing Requirements

At a Technical Committee - Motor Vehicles (TCMV) meeting held on 10th September, 2015, the European Commission submitted a proposal to amend the implementing Regulation ...

September 2015
New ECE Regulation on Electric Vehicles of Category L Adopted

To compliment ECE 100.02, which covers safety requirements for vehicles of categories M and N equipped with an electric powertrain, the United Nations Economic Commission ...

August 2015
ECE Regulation on the Prevention of Fire Risks Updated to Mandate Rear Impact Testing

The 03 series of amendments to UN ECE Regulation No. 34 on the prevention of fire risks were published on 22nd June 2015. This new series of amendments requires all M1 ...

July 2015
The NHTSA Issues Final Rule to Add New Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 136 Electronic Stability Control Systems for Heavy Vehicles

On June 23, 2015 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a Final Rule in the Federal Register that establishes a new Federal Motor Vehicle ...

June 2015
EU Regulation on eCall In-Vehicle Systems Published

On 19th May 2015, the European Union published a new Regulation, (EU) No. 2015/758, covering eCall in-vehicle systems. With effect from 31st March 2018, this new ...

May 2015
EU Regulation on Advanced Emergency Braking Systems Updated

EU Regulation No. 661/2009 introduced a requirement for the mandatory fitment of advanced emergency braking systems (AEBS) to M2, M3, N2 and N3 Category vehicles and EU ...

April 2015
The NHTSA Issues Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Amend Seat Belt Anchorage Systems Regulation

Responding to Comments Received for the March 2012 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a Supplementary Notice of ...

March 2015
The NHTSA Issues NPRM to Amend Child Restraint Regulations to Improve Ease of Use

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which proposes to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 225 and 213 ...

February 2015
EU Regulation on Passenger Car Mandatory CO2 Emissions Limits Updated to Increase the Average Vehicle Mass Value

Compliance with EU Regulation No. 443/2009 on the CO2 emissions limits for new passenger cars is demonstrated using a formula specified within the Regulation. The formula ...

January 2015
European Union Proposes New Requirements on Real Driving Emissions

To address concerns that the real world emissions performance of light duty vehicles has not improved in line with the most recent reductions in the applicable type ...

2014

December 2014
European Type Approval Requirements for Multi Stage Built Vehicles Updated

Although EC Directive 2007/46/EC on European type approval has always contained specific requirements for vehicles built in multiple stages, experience gained in the ...

November 2014
UN ECE Requirements on EMC for "Plug-in" Vehicles Updated

The 05 series of amendments to UN ECE Regulation No. 10 on electromagnetic compatibility were published on 16th October, 2014. This new series of amendments introduces ...

October 2014
New Brazilian Resolution on Interior Material Flammability Published

In August 2014, a new Resolution on the flammability of interior materials was published by Brazil's National Traffic Council (CONTRAN). In this new Resolution, ...

September 2014
The NHTSA Issues Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which proposes to create a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety ...

August 2014
NHTSA Proposes to Remedy Two Issues by Publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Tire Identification and Recordkeeping

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to increase the manufacturer identifier portion of the tire ...

July 2014
New EU Regulation on Noise Emissions Published

New EU Regulation No. 540/2014 on the sound level of motor vehicles and of replacement silencing systems represents the most significant change in the European legal ...

June 2014
Global Technical Regulation on Light Vehicle Emissions Test Procedure Published

With its publication as Global Technical Regulation (GTR) No. 15 on 12th May 2014, the finalised worldwide harmonised light vehicle test procedure (WLTP) represents a ...

May 2014
NHTSA Issued Final Rule for Rear Visibility

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Final Rule expanding the required field of view for all passenger cars, trucks, multipurpose ...

April 2014
FHWA Issues Request for Information for Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking comments to help refine plans, for one or more pilot programs that combine ...

March 2014
Amendments to the EU Light Duty and Heavy Duty Emissions Requirements Proposed

The European Commission have recently published a proposal for a new EU Regulation that would introduce amendments to both the light duty and heavy duty emissions ...

February 2014
NHTSA Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for FMVSS 213 Child Restraint Systems

Supplementing the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for Part 572 - Anthropomorphic Test Devices (see InterRegs Spotlight Article - December 2013), the National Highway ...

January 2014
EU Requirements on Motorcycle Emissions and Lighting Installation Updated

Amending Directive 2013/60/EU was published on 10th December 2013. It increases the stringency of the emissions requirements applicable to L1e, L2e and L6e category ...

2013

December 2013
NHTSA Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for 3 Year Old Side Impact Dummy

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would amend Part 572 - Anthropomorphic Test Devices ( ...

November 2013
ECE Requirements on Driver's Vision Updated

In order to enhance the fields of vision available to the drivers of motor vehicles, two of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) Regulations ...

October 2013
ECE Regulation on Electric Power Trains Updated

The 02 series of amendments to ECE 100 on electric power trains, which introduce new requirements, and associated test procedures, on the performance of rechargeable ...

September 2013
NHTSA Issued Final Rule for 49CFR Parts 573, 577 and 579

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Final Rule adopting amendments to certain provisions of the early warning reporting (EWR) rule and ...

August 2013
Second "Eco-Innovation" Approval Published by the European Commission

On 29th June 2013, the European Commission granted "approval" to a second eco-innovation. This "approval", details of which are given in Commission Implementing Decision ...

July 2013
South Africa Proposes Mandatory Compliance with ECE 100.01 for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

On 31st May 2013, the South African Department of Trade and Industry published proposed amendments to the compulsory specifications for both M1 and N1 category vehicles ...

June 2013
Updates to EU Requirements on Special Purpose Vehicles Proposed

At the Technical Committee - Motor Vehicles (TCMV) meeting on 8th May 2013, the European Commission presented their first draft of a Regulation to update the special ...

May 2013
NHTSA Requesting Comments on Revisions to New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Request for Comments asking the public for assistance in improving the New Car Assessment Program ...

April 2013
New EU Type Approval Framework Regulations for Motorcycles and Agricultural Tractors Published

On 2nd March 2013, two new EU type approval "framework" Regulations were published; EU Regulation No. 167/2013 covering agricultural and forestry tractors and EU ...

March 2013
NHTSA Moving Ahead with Rulemaking for Quiet Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued an NPRM to require minimum sound requirements for hybrid (HV) and electric vehicles (EV), Federal ...

February 2013
EU Publishes new Regulation on Masses and Dimensions

On 21st December 2012, the new EU Implementing Regulation on masses and dimensions, (EU) No. 1230/2012, was finally published. This new Implementing Regulation not only ...

January 2013
Rulemaking to Rescind FMVSS 219-Windshield Zone Intrusion is Withdrawn

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has withdrawn a proposal to rescind Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 219 - Windshield Zone ...

February 2018

The NHTSA and the FHWA Issue Requests for Comments / Information to Identify Regulatory Barriers to Introducing Automated Driving Systems

On January 18, 2018 in Federal Register Vol. 83 Number 12 the NHTSA Request for Comment (RFC) and the FHWA Request for Information (RFI) published Docket Nos. NHTSA–2018–0009 (FR 2018-00671) and FHWA-2017-0049 (FR 2018-00784). The NHTSA requests stakeholders to identify any potential regulatory barriers in the existing Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to the marketplace introduction of ADSs and certain unconventional interior designs (no driver controls). The FHWA invites the public to provide comments to a range of issues related to assessing the infrastructure requirements, standards, operating practices and efficient operations of ADSs.

The absence of a human driver poses potential barriers to testing, compliance certification and compliance verification. Many of the FMVSS refer to the driver or driver's seating position in specifying where various vehicle features and systems need to be located. The compliance test procedure of some FMVSS depend on the presence of such things as a human test driver who can follow instructions on test driving maneuvers or a steering wheel that can be used by an automated steering machine. In all cases, the NHTSA's goal is to ensure the maintenance of currently required levels of safety performance. Comments received will be used to aid the NHTSA in setting research priorities.

NHTSA research in close collaboration with critical stakeholders will identify alternative new vehicle designs, evaluation processes and associated tools, and alternative compliance certification approaches. This research project started at the beginning of FY2018 and is expected to develop robust alternative approaches within the next 12 months. The results of this research will be made public after the completion of the project.

Specific questions included in the NHTSA RFC include:

Barriers to Testing, Certification and Compliance Verification

  • What are the different categories of barriers that the FMVSS potentially create to the testing, certification and compliance verification of a new ADS vehicle lacking manual driving controls?
  • Provide comments on the statement made in NHTSA's February 2016 letter of interpretation to Google, that if a FMVSS lacks a test procedure that is suitable for the NHTSA's use in verifying a manufacturer's certification of compliance, the manufacturer cannot validly certify the compliance of its vehicles with that provision.
  • Do you agree (or disagree) that the FMVSS provisions identified in the Volpe report or Google letter as posing barriers to testing and certification are, in fact, barriers?
  • Do you think there are FMVSS provisions that pose barriers to testing and certification of innovative new vehicle designs, but were not covered in the Volpe report or Google letter?
  • Are there ways to solve the problems that may be posed by any of these FMVSS provisions without conducting additional research?
  • Similarly, are there ways to solve the problems that may be posed by any of these FMVSS provisions without rulemaking?
  • In contrast, if a commenter believes that legislation might be necessary to enable NHTSA to remove a barrier identified by the commenter, please explain why and please identify the specific existing law that the commenter thinks should be changed and describe how it should be changed.
  • Many FMVSS contain test procedures that are based on the assumed presence of a human driver, and will therefore likely need to be amended. How should these be handled?
  • What research would be necessary to determine how to instruct a vehicle with ADSs but without manual means of control to follow a driving test procedure?
  • In lieu of the approaches suggested in questions above, is there an alternative means of demonstrating equivalent level of safety that is reliable, objective and practicable?
  • For FMVSS that include test procedures that assume a human driver is seated in a certain seating position should NHTSA simply amend the FMVSS to require, that "driver's seat" requirements apply to any front seating position?
  • A variety of FMVSS require safety-related dashboard telltales and other displays to be visible to a human driver and controls to be within reach of that driver. Is there a safety need for this requirement in vehicles without manual driving controls?
  • What should NHTSA research look like for evaluating whether there is any safety need for the occupants of fully-self-driving vehicles to continue to have any access to any of the non-driving controls in a vehicle without manual driving controls?
  • How should research be conducted to determine whether there is a safety need for the occupants of vehicles with ADSs but without manual driving controls to be able to see to the side and behind those vehicles using mirrors or cameras?
  • Do the FMVSSs create testing and certification issues for vehicles with ADSs other than those discussed above (e.g., FMVSS No. 108 - Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment - could potentially pose obstacles to certifying the compliance of a vehicle that uses exterior lighting and messaging, through words or symbols, to communicate to nearby pedestrians, cyclists and motorists)?
  • If occupants of vehicles with ADSs, especially those without manual driving controls, are less likely to sit in what is now called the driver's seating position or are less likely to sit in seats that are facing forward, how should these factors affect existing requirements for crashworthiness safety features?
  • If vehicles with ADSs have emergency controls that can be accessed through unconventional means, such as a smart phone or multi-purpose display and have unconventional interiors, how should the Agency address those controls?
  • Are there any specific regulatory barriers related to small businesses that NHTSA should consider?

Research Needed to Address Those Barriers and NHTSA's Role in Conducting the Research

  • For issues about FMVSS barriers that NHTSA needs research to resolve, do commenters believe that there are specific items that would be better addressed through research by outside stakeholders, such as industry or research organizations, instead of by NHTSA itself?
  • How should the agency prioritize its research and any follow-on rulemakings to remove the barriers to testing and certification?
  • Correcting barriers associated with the track testing of motor vehicles will be particularly challenging (e.g., FMVSS 126, human-operable service brake). How should that research be conducted?
  • Are there industry standards, existing or in development, that may be suitable for incorporation by reference by NHTSA in accordance with the standards provisions of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget Circular A–119, "Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and Conformity Assessment Activities?"

The FHWA is interested in hearing from the public, including stakeholders (e.g., State and local agencies, vehicle manufacturing industry, road hardware and intelligent transportation systems industry, related associations, transportation advocates, ADS hardware and software platform developers, etc.), on a range of issues related to assessing the infrastructure requirements and standards that may be necessary for enabling safe and efficient operations of ADS. FHWA seeks comments on planning, development, maintenance, and operations of the roadway infrastructure necessary for supporting ADS, including any information detailing the costs associated with implementation.

Specific questions included in the FHWA RFI include:

  • What roadway characteristics are important for influencing the safety, efficiency, and performance of ADS?
  • What challenges do non-uniform traffic control devices present for ADS technologies and how does this affect the costs of ADS systems?
  • How does the state of good repair (e.g., pavement and road markings quality) impact ADS, including technology or safety costs, if at all?
  • How should FHWA engage with industry and automation technology developers to understand potential infrastructure requirements?
  • What is the role of digital infrastructure and data in enabling needed information exchange between ADS and roadside infrastructure? What type of infrastructure and operations data would help accelerate safe and efficient deployment of the ADS on our Nation's public roadways to facilitate nationwide interoperability while still maximizing flexibility, cost effectiveness and threats to cybersecurity or privacy?
  • What concerns do State and local agencies have regarding infrastructure investment and planning for ADS, given the level of uncertainty around the timing and development of this technology? How should FHWA engage with its State and local partners?
  • Are there existing activities and research in the area of assessing infrastructure-ADS interface needs and/or associated standards?
  • What are the priority issues that road owners and operators need to consider in terms of infrastructure requirements, modifications, investment, and planning, to accommodate integration of ADS and to derive maximum system efficiency benefits from ADS additional capabilities?
  • What variable information or data would ADS benefit from obtaining and how should that data be best obtained?
  • What issues do road owners and operators need to consider in terms of infrastructure modifications and traffic operations as they encounter a mixed vehicle fleet during the transition period to a potentially fully automated fleet? What are likely the most significant impacts of ADS on other motorized and non-motorized users of public roadways?

Written comments must be filed by March 5, 2018.

Bob Pheiffer