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WP.29 Discussion Topic
To one degree or another, automated driving technologies take over functions previously assured entirely by the driver. At one level, driver assistance systems aid the driver in controlling the vehicle. However, technologies have advanced to the point where automated systems propose to replace the driver in controlling various aspects of vehicle behavior. For example, lane-keeping assistance systems propose to intervene in the steering of the vehicle in order to maintain the vehicle within a lane of travel. At the furthest point in the spectrum, autonomous vehicles propose to assume full responsibility for vehicle behavior without any driver intervention. As a result, such technologies undermine the fundamental assumption that the driver is responsible for the vehicle and thus present the regulatory community with a host of unprecedented opportunities and challenges in ensuring road safety. WP.29 has undertaken to address these issues on a global basis in order to seek uniform worldwide responses that will promote the use of these technologies while ensuring their safe introduction into road traffic.
World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations | Session 186 | 7-11 Mar 2022
Documentation Discussion/Report
WP.29-186-08
WP.29-186-09

13. AC2 discussed the coordination of work on Automated Driving Systems (ADS). AC.2, for the sake of global harmonization, decided tasking:

  1. First, GRVA and Informal Working Group (IWG) on Functional Requirements for Automated Vehicles (FRAV) were tasked to determine the conditions, if any, under which an ADS external lighting signal should be activated and recommendations to GRE on technicalities of such devices; GRVA and FRAV were to report to AC.2 in November 2022 ;
  2. Following AC.2 consideration and recommendation in November 2022, GRE and Task Force on Autonomous Vehicle Signalling Requirements (AVSR) or an IWG to harmonize performance requirements for an Automated Driving Systems (ADS) light signal accordingly. GRE will specify the requirements for ADS light signal and their installation if needed, in cooperation with GRVA and the IWG on FRAV by November 2023;
  3. GRE and GRVA (and their respective IWG) to align the proposal on ADS light signal, if any. March 2024;
  4. GRVA will inform the Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety, WP.1, and its Group of Experts, GE.3, of the activities on ADS light signal.

22. The secretariat recalled the purpose of WP.29-186-08 drafted by the IWG on FRAV and WP.29-186-09 drafted by the IWG on Validation Methods for Automated Driving (VMAD), that were mandated under the framework document on automated vehicles (ECE/TRANS/WP.29/2019/34/Rev.2 as amended by ECE/TRANS/WP.29/2021/151). The Chair of GRVA detailed the content of the two documents and their purpose. He explained that both documents were guidelines that would be suitable for the contracting parties of the 1998 and 1958 Agreements.

23. The representative of the European Commission stated his full support for these informal documents and added that the contained concepts were also taken into consideration for developing the European Union legislation for ADS.

24. The representative of the United States of America clarified that WP.29-186-08 was not mature enough and recommended not to issue it as an official document for the next session.

25. The representative of OICA stated the importance of the work done by GRVA and its informal working groups under the framework document. He welcomed the progress done on the drafting of guidelines for ADS safety. He explained that OICA would welcome proposals from Contracting Parties for ADS regulations based on the guidelines prepared by GRVA.

26. The representative of OICA advised to initiate a review of the UN Regulations and UN GTRs with regards to their fitness for ADS, including driverless systems, as these regulations might refer to drivers.

27. The Chair of GRVA explained that AC.2 discussed the need to review the UN Regulations and UN GTRs and was in the process of setting a coordinated approach.

28. The representative of the European Commission fully recognized the need to review the Vehicle Regulations, which were linked to drivers, to accommodate for automated/autonomous driving.

29. The representative of the United States of America advised that this task could require a phased approach, one phase being the identification of UN Regulations and UN GTRs of relevance and a second phase being the evaluation of the provisions and test requirements that might be linked to drivers.

30. WP.29 requested all GRs to perform a screening of the UN Regulations and UN GTRs of relevance until March 2023 and agreed to resume consideration of a coordinated approach for reporting to AC.2 and WP.29.

113. The Chair of GRVA informed WP.29 of his invitation from the WP.1 Chair to the WP.1 to discuss the coordination of a public joint event of WP.1 and WP.29. He stated that he would report on the global activities under the framework document, the progress made on UN Regulation No. 157, the collaboration and work of WP.29 on light signalling for Automated Vehicles (AVs) and the corresponding schedule and asked WP.29 for further guidance, in particular regarding the coordination of the joint event.

114. WP.29 supported a joint event in general but agreed that a public event this year would be too premature, as certain steps needed to be conducted, for instance defining the objectives of the joint event, especially the cooperation and collaboration with WP.1. WP.29 preferred to conduct this event informally.

115. The Chair of GRVA participated in the WP.1 session, organized in the same week as WP.29, and reported there on WP.29 position regarding a joint public event.

116. The Chair of GRVA informed WP.29 of the results of his meeting with WP.1. He reported that that the Chair of WP.1 expressed her disappointment of not having a joint public event this year and that her objective for the joint event would have been to give information about the activities performed in each working party, rather than informing about their collaboration. He reported that there were questions regarding the meaning of “guidelines”, which were submitted by FRAV and VMAD to the WP.29 meeting in March 2022 for information. He stated that he had explained to WP.1 that these guidelines were no type of legal instrument but rather a guidance for Contracting Parties, who would like to start rule making and that these guidelines were still under development. He reported that there were questions about the extension of ALKS and that he explained that the system would comply to the national traffic laws without any need for user input.

117. WP.29 agreed to continue the discussions regarding a joint event with WP.1 at the June 2022 session of AC.2.

Related Meetings : World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations | Session 186