In a flurry of activity, the UNECE made significant progress last month towards creating a regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles. Not that it was necessarily well publicized – we had to read through the Reports of the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations on its 175th session and some related reports to get to a short list of important points.
Here are the three things we think you need to know:
1) There is a new UNECE Working Group for Autonomous Vehicles. The GRVA, or “Groupe Rapporteur pour Véhicules Autonomes” will be formed by reorganizing and converting the activities of the Brakes and Running Gear (GRRF) group.
2) Category C: Automated Vehicles
A proposal has been circulated to amend the Consolidated Resolution on the Construction of Vehicles (R.E.3). The proposal for Category C includes a definition and includes vehicles with Automatically Commanded Steering Functions (ACSF) while excluding those with active safety systems like AEBS, because it “is not an automated vehicle as the function is not designed to perform a driving task on a continuous basis.”. An interesting feature of Category C is that it is proposed such that it can be combined with other vehicle categories. For example, an M1 vehicle can be an M1C.
3) China is looking to get more involved. In an informal document the delegate from China submitted that, “China will actively join the discussion of AD regulations to be formulated by WP.29 and is willing to play a more active role in this process…”. The document went on to propose several projects. At the top of the list was human-machine control transition for autonomous vehicles.