Self-driving vehicles have been in development since the 1920s following the demonstration of a radio-controlled car driving through the streets of Manhattan, New York, in 1925. Today, level 4 self-driving vehicles such as those developed by Caterpillar for use in mining hold the promise of autonomous cars in the future.
Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis of the global autonomous vehicles (AVs) regulatory landscape finds that increasing automated safety requirements necessitate a robust regulatory framework for AVs.
Initiatives by advanced nations such as Germany, which regulated consumer use of Level 3 (L3) low-speed autonomous lane-keeping systems (ALKS), and Japan, which regulated consumer deployment of L3 vehicles and regulatory bodies such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), have developed regulatory guidelines for assessment, testing, and deployment of AVs.
Additionally, global deployment regulations for passenger vehicles are at L3 autonomy, while several countries have commenced testing up to level 5 autonomy.
“Germany, France, Austria, and Sweden are setting benchmarks in AV development and driving early adoption of regulations in Europe,” said Deexeta Mohan Kumar, Mobility Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
The UNECE and governing bodies are working on the regulatory framework to support the strong AV ecosystem in the region. Singapore, China, and Japan are at the forefront of large-scale testing and deployment of L3 to L5 AVs in Asia-Pacific (APAC).
She acknowledged that other markets like India and Malaysia lack government support and have an insufficient physical and digital infrastructure.
Kumar added: “Technology developers work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and tiered suppliers to develop and integrate autonomous driving features in vehicle platforms. Collective efforts by technology participants and OEMs to deploy convenience features such as adaptive cruise control (ACC) in vehicles are likely to help the AV industry meet regulatory compliance in Europe by 2024.”
The global harmonization of AV regulations will be instrumental in ramping up L3 to L5 deployment, presenting lucrative growth opportunities for AV market participants in areas such as:
- Harmonized guidelines for vertical market expansion: Global adoption of L3 and above AVs depends on a unified regulatory framework, standardization of ADAS deployment, and autonomous driving features such as driver monitoring, piloted driving, and autonomous parking.
- Regulating L2+ and L3 piloted driving: Regulatory bodies should set L2+ as a standard level and define market deployment guidelines.
- L4 robotaxis and shuttles for consumer deployment by 2024: Technology participants and OEMs can work together to develop and test advanced systems on public roads to deploy L4 robotaxis and shuttles.