Most of OEMs admit that lidars are mandatory in AD L3/L4 embedded sensing architectures and represent an efficient solution for ADAS applications. OEMs will integrate lidar technology in their
Virtually all automakers agree: lidar is an indispensably crucial component of any vehicle-embedded sensor suite for safe, performant L3 and L4 automation. That being so, lidar technology is increasingly being integrated into ADAS and AD developments planned for L3 vehicles with market introduction in the next two years. Examples include Audi; Mercedes; Volvo; Great Wall, Stellantis and more. The lone exception is Tesla, whose notoriously contrarian CEO Elon Musk has said lidar is “a fool’s errand” and that anyone relying on it is “doomed”, even as Tesla cars are under steadily-increasing regulatory scrutiny for dangerous misbehaviour by their so-called “Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving” L2 systems. For the overwhelming majority of car manufacturers who share the more realistic view, lidar integration is driven by the intent to offer new and interesting features to the end consumer. For the time being, sales volumes are still limited and costs are high, but innovations are increasing the affordability of lidar components and systems.
Conversely, the application of any regulation on new vehicles can have a significant effect on sales volumes enabling industry to reduce the piece price of lidar sensors. In history, this was the case when the European legislation COM 2010/542 obliged automakers to integrate ABS (antilock brakes) into almost all kinds of motor vehicles.
In this context, the application of the GSR (general safety regulation) in Europe, in coherence with the recent release of UN GRVA we reported on last month, brings substantial opportunities for the lidar sensor market by boosting lidar deployment rates.
In general, regulatory activities on automated driving are picking up speed worldwide. Today we provide the DVN view on these developments in EU legislation and UN Regulations.
Principle of Legislation in the EU
This diagram depicts the path of legislation within the 27-member European Union. The initiative for rulemaking is with the European Commission. The proposals of the commission are assessed by the European Council and the European Parliament.
The European Council consists of the governors of the 27 member states. The European Parliament comprises about 700 delegates, who are directly elected in their countries. If the Council and the Parliament pass a legislative proposal of the Commission in consent, the Commission gets back the task to implement the new legislation.
For implementation, two procedures are available:
• Implementing acts
Implementing acts are legally-binding acts that enable the Commission, under supervision of committees consisting of EU countries’ representatives, to set conditions to ensure that EU laws are applied uniformly.
• Delegated acts
Delegated acts are legally-binding acts that enable the Commission to supplement or amend non‑essential parts of EU legislative acts; for example, to define detailed measures. The Commission adopts the delegated act, and if Parliament and Council have no objections, it enters into force.
Next, let’s look at how these legislative principles have been applied to road safety and automated driving.
New regulations concerning road safety and driving automation
In 2018, the Commission presented the revised GSR (general safety regulation) that replaced both the previous GSR (EC № 661/2009) and the PSR (Pedestrian Safety Regulation, EC № 78/2009). The new regulation addresses the need for improving vehicle and road safety, as studies have shown human error is a causal element in an estimated 95 per cent of crashes. The European Parliament and the Council adopted the regulation in November 2019.
In the subsequent legislative step, the Commission has taken following measures:
Two implementing acts
- Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/535 on the construction and safety of vehicles and their systems; components, and separate technical units, and
- Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/646 on emergency lane-keeping systems in motor vehicles
Four delegated acts
- Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/1243 with detailed rules concerning motor vehicle alcohol interlocks;
- Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/1341 with detailed rules concerning driver drowsiness and attention warning systems;
- Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/1958 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2144 with detailed rules on intelligent speed assistance systems and their type-approval as separate technical units, and
- Delegated Regulation (EU) 2022/545 supplementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2144 with detailed rules on event data recorders and their type-approval as separate technical units.
This regulation introduces a range of mandatory advanced driver assistant systems to improve road safety, and establishes the legal framework for approval of automated and fully driverless vehicles in the EU. The new safety measures will help to better protect passengers; pedestrians, and cyclists across the EU, expectedly saving over 25,000 lives and avoiding at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038.
The GSR empowers the Commission to complete the legal framework for automated and connected vehicles. It is the Commission’s intent to deliver technical rules this summer for the approval of fully driverless vehicles, making the EU a pioneer on that front. This will help to increase public trust; boost innovation, and improve the competitiveness of Europe’s car industry.
The new rules require safety features to assist the driver, including:
- For all road vehicles—cars; vans; trucks, and buses—intelligent speed assistance; reversing detection with camera or sensors; attention warning in case of driver drowsiness or distraction; event data recorders, and emergency stop signal.
- For cars and vans, additional features such as lanekeeping systems and automated braking.
- For buses and trucks, technologies for better recognising possible blind spots; warnings to prevent collisions with pedestrians and cyclists, and tire pressure monitoring systems.
The Connection to UN Regulations
As described in last month’s DVN-L Newsletter, new amendments to UN Regulation № 157 extend the velocity range for certain automated vehicle functions from 60 to 130 km/h, and that is a major step forward. It will also effectively require the use of lidar sensors.
The new EU rules will align EU legislation with the UN R157 on L3 automation, and adopt new EU technical legislation for fully driverless vehicles—the first international rules of this kind. The technical rules set out via a delegated and implementing act cover testing procedures; cybersecurity requirements; data recording, and monitoring of safety performance and incident reporting requirements by manufacturers of fully driverless vehicles, all to establish a comprehensive assessment of the safety and readiness of fully automated vehicles before they are placed on the EU market. This table gives an overview of the relation of the nine specific topics of the new EU regulation with other regulatory acts.
ANNEX II ofRegulation (EU) 2019/2144: DRIVER AND SYSTEM BEHAVIOUR
Currently, the primarily-important items for automated driving and thus also for lidar applications are E4; E6, and E7. These are fully in line with UN Regulation № 157. Additionally, we expect that in future also items E3 and E8 will become significant areas for lidar applications.