The Scramble is On: Regulating Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

The Scramble is On: Regulating Advanced Driver Assistance Systems


There has been no shortage of news on advanced automotive technology in 2014.  In fact, a search for the term “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems” by date looks like this:

YEAR         Google Search Results*

2014            20,900

2013            12,800

2012             9,120

In their blog, The Knowledge Effect, Thomson Reuters, last week, posted a nice infographic on driver assistance features.  That had us thinking: what has happened in the regulatory environment over the course of the year?


Automotive safety technology – Graphic of the day


So, we’ve had a look at activity in the USA and UN Working Parties.  The highlights –


V2V Communication

In August, NHTSA issued a proposal for the creation of a new standard –FMVSS 150– to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication capability for passenger cars and light trucks.  The idea is to mandate V2V in order to create a critical mass of vehicles that can “talk” to each other.  Without such a mandate, so the thinking goes, there would be no incentive for a single manufacturer to offer V2V.  NHTSA envisions V2V as a technology which could facilitate a variety of driver assist systems.

Comments closed on 10/20/2014 with over 900 submissions.

Lane Keep Assist Systems

The UN Working Party on Brakes and Running Gear is considering how to proceed on LKAS.  Currently, Regulation No. 79 (Steering Equipment) and Regulation No. 130 (Lane Departure Warning System) cover some, but not all of the aspects of LKAS.  The debate has included diverging opinions on the need for a new regulation or amendments to R79, how to deal with operation speed, functionality on straight or curvy roads, and the ability to turn systems off or not.  Sweden and Japan have led an effort to scope requirements with a very detailed presentation on the gaps.

Blind Spot Detection

In April, NHTSA issued a Final Rule to expand the required field of view for all passenger cars, trucks, multipurpose passenger vehicles, buses, and low-speed vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of less than 10,000 pounds.  The rule, several years in the making, adds requirements to FMVSS 111 (Rearview Visibility).  The phase-in schedule will require 100% of new vehicles to comply by May of 2018, with rearview video systems the expected means to meeting the requirements.


As regulators work to keep up with ADAS, there are a number of challenges to be navigated, including:

  • Adopting regulations in a way that both improves safety and encourages innovation
  • Facilitating a significant level of adoption and creating incentives for manufacturers
  • Ensuring the privacy of consumer and public acceptance
  • Inter-agency coordination

The proposed V2V regulation comprises all of these challenges – a mandate to incentivize the industry to take action, coordination with the FCC, and a clear need to work on public concerns around health effects and privacy.**  The Lane Keep Assist discussion is an example of when and how to regulate a new technology, and the rule on Rearview Visibility appears designed to improve safety, without explicitly prescribing the technology to be used, leaving the door open for further innovation.

*Based on web search results by time period for the exact phrase “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems”

**In a sample of 20 comments by private/non-industry individuals, 13 comments listed health concerns.

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