UN adopts new regulations



UN adopts new regulations

The UN has adopted new regulations regarding self-driving cars and reverse warning sounds on trucks.

Faster autonomous driving: UN panel gives green light
The UN Economic Commission for Europe's World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (UNECE) decided Wednesday in Geneva that the maximum speed for autonomous driving in certain traffic situations will be raised from 60 to 130 km/h. The decision also allows lane changes. It was initiated in early June when a working group gave green light. The rule could come into force in January next year, the UNECE said. According to its information, the EU has already announced implementation. National regulations will have to be adapted for this.

In Germany, for example, autonomous driving is currently limited to certain traffic situations on the highway, such as traffic jams. In critical situations such as tunnels or the risk of black ice, which cars automatically detect through cameras and sensors, drivers must be alerted, and autonomous driving must be suspended. In the U.S., states as California and Arizona allow autonomous vehicles to operate in general traffic already, for example as commercial robotaxi services.

New UN Regulation harmonizes reverse warning sound of vehicles

A reverse warning sound draws the attention of the people in the vicinity of a reversing truck. This serves to ensure the safety of these persons. Until now, however, there has been no standardized sound for this purpose. However, such a system is necessary to reduce the risk of accidents on the one hand and to counteract complaints about their noisiness on the other hand.

This week the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) adopted a new UN Regulation on audible reverse warning, which is expected to enter force in January 2023. A group of experts from Governments and industry prepared the draft under Japan’s leadership. The regulation finds balance between efficient warning sound and avoidance of noise pollution of the environment. Both classic beepers with a constant volume and an acoustic warning that adapts to the ambient noise are permitted. In addition, functional replacement technologies such as rear-view cameras are also permitted, if the same level of safety can be ensured. In this case the reverse warning sound may temporarily stop, to avoid sound disturbances and eventual complaints from citizens.

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