The first regulations for L3 autonomous driving are going to hit the books soon. The first function to formally defined and regulated: ALKS (Automated Lane Keeping Systems), which enables a car to steer itself at speeds of up to 60 km/h within a lane without any human supervision. It allows drivers frustrated by congestion on highways the chance to take their eyes off the road and let the car navigate tedious stop-and-go traffic.
The new regulatory framework means BMW can offer “eyes-off” automated driving in their iNEXT electric SUV set to arrive next year. Daimler have their eyes on eyes-off autonomy for their new-generation Mercedes S-Class, which will launch later this year. Audi developed the world’s first eyes-off system in the 2017 A8, but the technology wasn’t activated because of regulatory hurdles.
The Regulation will take effect on 1 January 2021 in the European Union, Japan, and other countries that use UN Regulations and choose to apply this one. Other countries that participated in the regulatory development include China, Canada, and the U.S., though none of those countries formally applies UN Regulations (and the U.S., practically alone in the world, does not recognise them at all).