It should not be possible to use driving functions inadvertently or improperly

It should not be possible to use driving functions inadvertently or improperly

Feb 2018

Accident researchers from all over the world agree that partly, highly and fully automated driving functions will make a significant contribution to increasing road safety in the future. In light of this, the German Road Safety Council (DVR) is also indicating that when approving systems, it is necessary to consider, in each individual case, whether the anticipated improvement in safety outweighs potential risks. According to Clemens Klinke, member of the Management Board of DEKRA SE with responsibility for the Automotive Business Unit and Vice President of the DVR, field experiences and simulations are necessary for further developing automated driving functions. “Further opportunities to determine the driving function’s increase in safety before approving it should therefore be opened up,” says Clemens Klinke. After approval, the new technologies also need to be backed up by field observations.

In order to ensure the safe operation of automated driving functions, the DVR is asking manufacturers, standards organizations and legislators to compile standardized definitions, operating principles, warnings and requests for the users of automated driving functions. According to DVR recommendations, suitable technical and communicative measures (human-machine interfaces) are to be provided so that driving functions cannot be used inadvertently or improperly. The DVR also calls for various accident analyses and makes suggestions for implementing system updates and regarding the testability of fully and highly automated vehicles as part of main inspections.

Intelligent and connected traffic systems can also contribute to increasing road safety. This also includes vehicle-to-X applications, where the wireless exchange of information between road users, and between road users and the infrastructure, is used to implement new functions. Various vehicle-to-X applications have already been developed as part of national and international research projects. A variety of situations – from immediately hazardous situations to simple information provision – and different types of road users are addressed, depending on the application. Furthermore, different types of information provision and communication are used, e.g. mobile communications or pWLAN, which is a specially developed technical standard for vehicle communication.

Based on the results of different test tracks and studies, DVR recommends various criteria for the communication technologies used, such as data provision in real time and ranges of at least 300 meters. According to the DVR’s evaluation, safety functions that have already proved their worth and suitability for daily use in field tests should be the preferred choice for use – including electronic brake lights, cross traffic assists and traffic sign assistants for stop signs.