Washington, D.C.—Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) commends the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) for its regulation on automated lane keeping systems (ALKS)—the first such international binding agreement of its kind, and adopted by a forum of which SAFE is part.
“If we are to realize the tremendous societal promise of autonomous driving, it is vital that we expedite its deployment through harmonized regulations. Almost 1.4 million people die on roads worldwide every year—more than 36,000 in the United States alone—so every step we can take to bring the lifesaving potential of autonomous driving to streets across the world is a vital step worth taking,” said SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond.
Adopted recently by the UNECE World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, this is the first binding international regulation on level 3 vehicle automation. SAFE sits on the forum, known as Working Party 29 or the Working Party on Automated/Autonomous and Connected Vehicles, and helped guide the regulation from conception to approval. The regulation requires that on-board displays used by the driver for activities other than driving when the ALKS is activated shall be automatically suspended as soon as the system issues a transition demand, for instance in advance of the end of an authorized road section.
SAFE believes that while this is a strong first step, more must be taken and sooner if we are to meaningfully curb the 1.35 million deaths that occur on roads around the world each year.
“We should learn from the swift and exceptional measures taken by governments worldwide to contain the spread of COVID-19, and apply that same haste and seriousness to self-driving cars. Around 3,700 people die every day on roads worldwide. These deaths are unacceptable, and we must take ever bolder steps to eradicate our road death pandemic,” Diamond added.
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