Policy advice & legal and regulatory hurdles for AVs

Vehicle automation may facilitate more efficient traffic demand management. However, there is a case that the application of automation toward more socially desirable objectives, such as reducing the need to travel and enabling other mobility options, should go hand-in-hand with the technical focus on accelerating the sophistication of automation technologies. Vehicle automation and data access by third parties introduces addition legal and ethical challenges which need to be addressed.

• The legal and regulatory hurdles in vehicle automation are complex with the potential use of vehicle data by third-parties introducing challenges with regard to safety, security and data privacy.

• Vehicle automation may make traffic demand management easier for transport authorities.

• Policymakers need to understand the potential to which vehicle automation may impact travel choices and under that remit may wish to consider measures that produce more socially desirable objectives.

Policy advice
Wadud et al. (2016) state that “the major energy/emission downside risks appear more likely at full automation”, which would be the scenario that would lead to the sharpest reduction in the drivers’ opportunity cost of time. This led Wadud et al. to conclude that “policymakers may wish to focus their energies less on accelerating Level 4 automation (which may come in due course), and more on measures that promote the application of automation toward socially desirable objectives”.

Automation will make the implementation of dynamic distance based road charging easier, but it also increases the need for it as a policy tool to reduce congestion (Wadud et al., 2016).

Legal and regulatory hurdles for AVs
Several key challenges in the development of AVs will only be overcome if appropriate policies are implemented.

In the case of Europe, interoperability and compatibility between national standards and legislation are important issues, even in pilot projects. In the so-called “Declaration of Amsterdam”, the EU Transport Council has defined the actions to be undertaken, respectively, by the Commission, the Member States and Industry “to work towards a coherent European framework for the deployment of interoperable connected and automated driving, which should be available, if possible, by 2019”.

Another issue is the access to vehicle data by third-party service providers and competitors (ACEA, 2016). ACEA has pronounced itself in favour of the “extended vehicle concept”:

“An extended vehicle is understood as a physical road vehicle with external software and hardware extensions for some of its features. These extensions are developed, implemented and managed by the vehicle manufacturer. The vehicle manufacturer is fully responsible for the communication among the various parts of the extended vehicle, especially between the internal and external software and hardware components.
The extended vehicle offers open yet protected access interfaces for the provision of services by vehicle manufacturers or third parties. The interfaces need to be designed and implemented in such a way that access to the extended vehicle does not jeopardize security, safety, product integrity, data privacy or any other rights or legal obligations”.

This concept is being standardised in the context of ISO

  • ACEA Strategy Paper on Connectivity April 2016
  • Wadud, Z., MacKenzie, D., & Leiby, P. Help or hindrance? The travel, energy and carbon impacts of highly automated vehicles, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Volume 86, April 2016, Pages 1-18, ISSN 0965-8564,    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2015.12.001

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.