The transport sector is continually developing and implementing innovative technologies, from the widespread adoption, and forthcoming regulation, of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to the advent of automated vehicles. Automation will bring disruptive change to the way we use transport and pose new challenges to teams tasked with investigating and reconstructing incidents in which they are involved.
To guide us safely through technological change, new regulations are emerging, with others in development, to enable the introduction of automated driving technologies on our roads. In just a few weeks in January 2021 the UNECE’s Automatic Lane Keeping System (ALKS) regulation will come into force and will be adopted by the European Union and Japan.
Utilising advanced camera and sensor technology, ALKS will enable vehicles on motorways to follow their lane whilst speeding up and slowing down with traffic at speeds of up to 37 mph without driver engagement. The UK Government is also expected to adopt the regulation and has consulted industry on options to go further and faster in regulating the technology. The ALKS regulation therefore marks a major milestone that could mean we see SAE Level 3 automated vehicle technologies operating on our roads next year.
The 2020s are set to be another decade of considerable change for the automotive industry. For investigation teams such as ourselves, and indeed the legal and insurance sectors, it is critical that we maintain pace with technological change and evolve in tandem. This means understanding the technologies, their intended use and the data they generate whilst developing new methods to capture evidence and investigate the factors which lead to incidents involving automated systems. As this new automotive environment emerges, all sectors involved in transport must understand how the move to increasingly automated transport will impact their business and begin preparations for an accelerating rate of change.
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