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Safe introduction of automated driving is one of the greatest challenges ever faced

12 May 2020

Part of the ARCADE project is the creation of a Knowledge Base. IDIADA is responsible for providing and validating all the information related to Regulations and Policies, an essential pillar to understanding the situation in Europe and worldwide in accordance to CAV regulations and discussions.

The safe introduction of automated driving is one of the greatest challenges that the automotive industry has ever faced, and for this reason it will be very important to adapt and change from a quantitative type-approval approach to a qualitative one.

Josep Maria Farrán

The current type-approval model: quantitative approach

The classic approach to vehicle type-approval, independently of the procedure used (homologation or self-certification) is based on the evaluation of the performance of each separate system according to a specific set of requirements.

As an example, the braking system of the vehicle is evaluated against a target performance, in terms of deceleration or braking distance. In order to make the test results comparable, the test conditions shall be strictly defined, including aspects such as:

  • test track characteristics,
  • weather conditions,
  • test equipment precision.

Additionally, in order to reduce the human effect on the test results, the input signal (force on the braking pedal, torque on the steering wheel …) shall be kept within certain limits, or the human test driver replaced by a driving robot.

This evaluation is, in all cases, quantitative, and the performance limits required, as well as the test protocols are discussed in the existing discussion groups.

A need for a new approach

Considering the existing model, there is an evident mismatch between the performance of new technologies and the evaluation methodologies. Some questions that regulators need to address are:

  • Does an automated vehicle need a braking system as powerful as a non-automated one, or can it rely on its sensors, software and connectivity features in order to reduce speed in advance?
  • How can the safety of such vehicles be evaluated, if the current Regulations based on the performance of the braking system are not conceived for this technology?
  • If two different vehicles, with a similar degree of automatization, use different driving strategies, are the same standard and limits to be used for both vehicles?
  • Is it possible to isolate the effect of the driver on the performance of the vehicle when the vehicle itself is the driver? Furthermore, does this make sense?

These, and many additional questions reflect the need for a deep change in the type-approval framework, beyond the typical changes, which are usually limited to the introduction of new technical requirements or administrative provision, but without a global review of the complete model.

In further articles, the effort being carried out by the different stakeholders will be addressed. Currently, rule makers, R&D projects and other stakeholders are working in order to tackle the above-mentioned challenges.

Another challenge arises from these efforts, which is the need to harmonise the different proposals, so as to reach a consensus in the tools and procedures to be set in place for the evaluation of the safety of Connected and Automated Vehicles.

The Knowledge Base of Regulations and Policies will help to address all these challenges in order to develop the future European Regulation for CAV.

Josep Maria Farrán,
Chief Executive Officer, Applus IDIADA.