Updated ECE Requirements on Automatically Commanded Steering Functions Proposed
As the automotive industry moves along the path to the development of fully automated vehicles, numerous advanced driver assistance systems are being developed and deployed into production vehicles, and many of these systems relate to the vehicle's steering system. Examples include park assist systems, remote control parking systems, lane keep assistance systems, lane guidance systems and automatic lane change systems.
The comparatively rapid development and deployment of these systems has led to a situation where the current legal requirements on steering systems do not adequately address the automated systems that vehicle manufacturers are attempting to type approve and launch onto the market. Back in 2015, this situation was recognised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) Working Party responsible for steering systems, the Working Party on Brakes and Running Gear (GRRF), and they set up an Informal Group on Automatically Commanded Steering Functions to develop the legal requirements necessary to cater for such advanced driver assistance systems. The first output from this Informal Group is a proposed 02 series of amendments to the UN ECE Regulation on steering systems, ECE Regulation No. 79.
In this proposed 02 series of amendments to ECE 79, the definitions for "automatically commanded steering function (ACSF)" and "corrective steering function (CSF)" are revised and six new "categories" of ACSF are defined: Categories A, B1, B2, C, D and E. At this stage, it will only be possible to obtain type approval for automatically commanded steering functions that fall into Category A (park assist systems) and/or Category B1 (lane keep assist systems). However, the Informal Group is now working on the development of requirements to cover the other Categories of ACSF for introduction into ECE 79 at a future date.
The proposed 02 series of amendments to ECE 79 include detailed technical requirements for Category A automatically commanded steering functions, Category B1 automatically commanded steering functions and corrective steering functions. These technical requirements cover the conditions under which the system may be activated (e.g. speed thresholds), 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. The proposal also includes specific test procedures to verify that the system complies with these technical requirements. In addition, the proposal also includes detailed technical requirements for remote control parking systems.
The draft 02 series of amendments to ECE 79 were formally adopted at the 171st session of the World Forum for Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) in March 2017 and they have recently been allocated a provisional date of entry into force of 10th October 2017. Official publication of this series of amendments is expected during September or October 2017.
With regard to introduction dates, it is proposed that, from 1st April 2018, new type approvals to ECE 79 may only be issued to vehicles which comply with the 02 series of amendments and, from 1st April 2021, Contracting Parties applying ECE 79 may refuse national or regional type approval to vehicles that do not comply with the 02 series of amendments.