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New International Standard for Partially-Automated Lane-Change Systems proposed by Japan was issued

- An effort to achieve a society with no traffic accidents -

May 7, 2020

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) issued a new international standard proposed by Japan for lane change systems with automated steering control under monitoring by a driver. This issuance is expected to contribute to the dissemination of vehicles with a vehicle control system installed, which will lead to a decrease in the number of traffic accidents on expressways and other public roads.

1. Background

Aiming to reduce damage caused by traffic accidents with vehicles traveling in a straight line, which accounts for the majority of vehicle collision accidents, the ISO has already issued ISO 22839:2013 (Forward vehicle collision mitigation systems) and ISO19237:2017 (Pedestrian detection and collision mitigation systems) as international standards stipulating performance requirements for collision mitigation systems. And in line with this, manufacturers have commercialized some types of passenger vehicles with such systems that meet these standards.

Vehicle collisions also occur during vehicle lane changes as seen in the fact that over 7,000 accidents involving injury or fatality occurred according to the 2015 statistics.* In addition, many drivers are generally unskilled at changing lanes (see Figure 1), and particularly, driving while checking conditions in the reverse direction in the adjacent lane in addition to looking forward is a heavy burden on drivers.

Against this backdrop, manufacturers have already commercialized some types of vehicles with a built-in system for partially automated lane-changing maneuvers in order to reduce the burden on drivers. In response to this trend, Japan clarified the performance requirements of such systems and filed a proposal with the ISO for international standardization to ensure a certain level of performance of such systems.

2. Outline of the international standards

The newly issued international standard ISO 21202 (Partially automated lane change systems)** classifies the systems into two types: Type 1 is for systems for which the driver decides to make a lane change and the vehicle then undertakes the maneuver automatically based on the driver’s decision, and Type 2 is for systems for which the vehicle proposes a lane change and only undertakes the maneuver based on the driver’s approval. And the standard stipulates requirements and verification test methods for these systems.

This standard requires Type 1 to have an obstacle detection function for areas that are blind spots for drivers near the vehicle and requires Type 2 to have a system that covers a wider area behind the vehicle.

In August 2017, Japan submitted a proposal for a new standard with the ISO / TC204 (intelligent transport systems) / WG14 (vehicle/roadway warning and control systems), in which Japan serves as the chair. In response, on April 27, 2020, the ISO issued this as a new standard.***

3. Expected effects

These systems that undertake significant portions of lane-change maneuvers, for which many drivers are unskilled, will help drivers concentrate on making sure that conditions surrounding their vehicles are safe. This issuance of a new international standard is expected to contribute to the dissemination of vehicles with such a built-in system having a certain level of performance worldwide and also to a decrease in the number of traffic accidents related to this maneuver. Moreover, the new international standard will contribute to successfully decreasing the number of global fatal traffic accidents by half by 2020, the target year set in the Sustainable Development Goals policy of the United Nations.****

Notes

*1: Experts from “Analysis of Fatal and Injury Accidents Caused by Vehicles during Lane Changing,” Compiled by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. and the Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis in March 2017

**2: Official title of ISO 20900: 2019:
ISO 21202:2020 Intelligent transport systems — Partially automated lane change systems (PALS) — Functional / operational requirements and test procedures

***3: This successful standardization is partly due to the achievements under the Project for Establishing New International Standards for Energy Conservation and Promoting the Dissemination of Such Standards (international standards development for energy conservation; international standardization category); (international standardization for advanced road transportation system and establishment of bases for popularization of these standards), which METI has commissioned to a private entity.

****4: United Nations Information Center (Activities by the United Nations Statistical Commission for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development)

References

Division in Charge

International Standardization Division, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau