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Self-driving cars on the highway: automakers have new marketing guidelines

As self-driving features are set to unleash on the freeway next year, automakers and the industry have created a new set of guidelines to ensure that technology is sold “accurately and responsibly” to drivers. ..

Beginning in the spring of 2022, drivers driving on the highway will be legally permitted to use the Automatic Lane Keeping System (ALKS), which is compatible with the latest models.

ALKS gives you complete control over the steering and lane changes of the car, allowing the user to take their hands off the steering wheel altogether.

Due to the safety implications of various technologies and their functions and concerns about mis-selling, the Association of Automotive Manufacturers has provided guidelines to ensure that drivers are informed when and when hands-free driving features are available. Announced.

With hands-free autonomous driving scheduled to be legalized on UK highways next year, new guidelines have been created for automakers to properly promote their technology.

These new guidelines have been co-developed and agreed by experts within the Connection and Self-Driving Car Center and are supported by the Road Safety Group.

Industry-led principles ensure that consumers receive “consistent and clear information” about the differences between “autonomous” and “assisted” driving functions. In the latter, the driver must always hold the steering wheel.

The guidelines were published after Tesla was repeatedly criticized for its irresponsibility in naming some of the features available in electric vehicles, such as the “autopilot” system and more recently “fully autonomous driving” assistive technologies.

U.S. road safety bosses blamed the brand earlier this year, saying the technology does not provide a fully autonomous driving experience as drivers need to monitor 100% of the time to ensure safe use. I did.

Jennifer Homendy, head of the National Transportation Safety Board, told The Wall Street Journal in September that the use of the name fully autonomous driving was “misleading and irresponsible.” On the manufacturer’s website.

She said Tesla’s marketing “clearly misleaded many people into the misuse and abuse of technology,” and before the company tackled “basic safety issues,” the “city driving” feature (recently the boss’s). Warned Tesla about deploying) (announced by Elon Musk).

Starting next year, car drivers equipped with the

Starting next year, car drivers equipped with the “Automatic Lane Keeping System” (ALKS) will be legally permitted to use on the highway and take their hands off the steering wheel.

To avoid such confusion and mixed messages in the UK ahead of a new law permitting the use of hands-free driving features on the road from next year, SMMT will agree with manufacturers selling vehicles in this country on Monday. Announced new rules.

All self-driving features need to be explained clearly enough to avoid misunderstandings, including explaining the situations in which they can function.

The autonomous driving function needs to be described “clearly enough” to distinguish it from the auxiliary driving function. The reverse is also true.

If both autonomous and auxiliary driving functions are described, they must be clearly distinguished from each other, the guidelines state.

Learning from Tesla’s example, the principle states that it should not be misleading by telling that the name of the autonomous driving or auxiliary driving function is something else-an auxiliary word to avoid confusion. May be required-for example, for auxiliary driving functions, make it clear that the driver must always be in control.

The automotive industry has created five new rules for naming and describing different technologies to help drivers understand the difference between

The automotive industry has created five new rules for naming and describing different technologies to help drivers understand the difference between “automation” and “assistance.”

The legalization of the use of ALKS on British highways has been discussed by parliamentarians since August last year and is expected to be approved in 2022.

ALKS is classified as “Level 3” autonomy, can take control of the vehicle and stay in the lane, so the driver does not need to enter.

Current UK law allows drivers to use technologies such as lane assistance systems, but must be in line with Level 2 to engage in driving tasks and remain aware of the environment.

Level 3 means that the driver is not driving when the automated system is working, but can intervene at any time and must take over at the request of the system.

Currently, the highest level of vehicle autopilot used on British roads is the Tesla autopilot, which is classified as Level 2.

Currently, the highest level of vehicle autopilot used on British roads is the Tesla autopilot, which is classified as Level 2.

Automated Lane Keep Systems will be the first instance of Level 3 vehicle autonomy in the UK

Automated Lane Keep Systems will be the first instance of Level 3 vehicle autonomy in the UK

Mike Hawes, CEO of SMMT, said the technology has “great potential to save lives,” but sets rules to prevent consumers from being mis-sold for the self-driving capabilities of cars. It states that it is necessary.

“It is imperative that this innovative technology be sold accurately and responsibly. Industry, government and other key stakeholders come together to keep consumers clear and confident about their capabilities. We are pleased to have developed a set of guidelines that will enable us to have these advanced vehicles first in the showroom, “Hawes said.

Transport Minister Trudy Harrison said the introduction of such an autonomous driving system could “make it safer, more environmentally friendly and more accessible to everyone.”

“It is imperative that industry and stakeholders clarify their responsibilities and develop in collaboration with governments, automobiles and road safety groups. SMMT’s guiding principles are important to promote the safe use of automation technology in the UK. It’s a step, “she said.

UK-based vehicle safety expert Satcham Research previously stated that the government’s plan is “undercooked” and the technology’s capabilities are misleading for drivers, deploying ALKS on the road. I’ve been asking for months of guidelines to be introduced prior to.

What is ALKS? How does it work?

Automatic lane keeping system technology is the most advanced vehicle automation ever seen on British roads.

When activated, ALKS keeps the vehicle in the lane and controls its movement for extended periods of time without the driver having to do anything.

However, the driver must be ready to resume driving control within seconds when prompted by the vehicle.

Different manufacturers have their own systems, but generally they use a forward-looking camera, laser sensor, infrared sensor, and radar sensor behind the windshield to stay in the lane unintentionally. Detects whether or not.

When the sensor detects that the vehicle is moving out of the lane, it automatically brakes one side of the vehicle to correct the position of the vehicle on the road.

Some systems allow careful steering intervention rather than subtle braking.

ALKS has been designated as a Level 3 system by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

This means When the automatic system is working, the person holding the steering wheel is not driving, but can intervene at any time and must take over at the request of the system.

When the Level 3 system is active, users can do other things, such as watching movies, sending text messages, etc., but pay some attention to what’s happening around them. is needed.

There are five stages of self-driving car autonomy, with level 5 being complete autonomy.

It’s similar to Tesla’s already used technology called autopilot, but the US company’s system is only considered Level 2 and drivers are expected to pay close attention to traffic.

Lane Keeping Assist (a feature that has been available on new cars for over 10 years) is also considered to be classified as Levels 1 and 2. This is because it only warns the driver that he is out of the lane and it is the user’s responsibility to maneuver. vehicle.

Research Director Matthew Avery said last year: It’s simply not safe enough and its introduction will endanger the lives of British drivers.

He commented on the principles announced this week and said they represent “significant milestones” to avoid confusion about the capabilities of assisted driving systems and future automated systems, and the responsibilities of drivers who use them. rice field.

“We’ve been insisting on term consistency for a long time,” Avery said.

“There are two distinct states. The vehicle is either assisted by a driver supported by technology or automated by technology to effectively and safely replace the driver.

“We are now urging manufacturers to use simple marketing that doesn’t over-promise features. It’s all about effective dealer education and subsequent consumer conversations and engagements. It is to be delivered consistently to marketing materials. ”

What Car? Jim Holder, editorial director of, said the wording used to describe autonomous driving technology has long been a source of controversy, with some buyers saying that the technology is more capable than its intended use. I was led to believe. “

This is the scale of the issue where courts in some countries, including Germany, banned marketing of words such as “autopilot” to prevent customers from being misunderstood or misunderstanding the limits of technology. ..

He states: “Having a set of guidelines for protecting UK customers is a welcome move and helps manufacturers ensure that they are consistent with the boundaries of their language and the technology of their vehicles. ..

“The difference between automated driver and driver assist features is huge, and many buyers remain uncertain about the limits of technology.

“As the development of autonomous driving is progressing more and more rapidly, it is important for manufacturers to remain honest with their buyers.

“Self-driving cars help reduce road accidents, but only when the technology is fully developed, we need to tell the buyer exactly.”

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Self-driving cars on the highway: automakers have new marketing guidelines

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