Made in Germany

    Better protection for pedestrians and cyclists

    Driver assistance systems demonstrably increase safety and relieve the driver in critical situations. Read here which systems exist, how they are used, and where they are required.

    Driver assistance systems demonstrably increase safety and relieve the driver in critical situations. Read here which systems exist, how they are used, and where they are required.

    Mandatory for commercial vehicles

    Automatic emergency braking systems (AEBS), adaptive cruise control, electronic stability programs (ESP), and lane departure warning systems (LDWS) are just a few examples of the driver assistance systems commonly found in the vehicles of today. All these systems demonstrably increase safety and relieve the driver in critical situations. In recent years, the most common causes of serious truck accidents have been leaving the road as well as lane-changing and rear-end collisions.

    To prevent such accidents even more in the future, the EU has gradually made automatic emergency braking systems, electronic stability programs, and lane departure warning systems mandatory for all new commercial vehicles. Since 2019, this path has been continued with the publication of the revised version of the General Safety Regulation (EU) 2019/2144. It defines numerous new requirements for commercial vehicles that must be implemented, as of 2022, in all new vehicle types and, as of 2024, in all new vehicles.

    The reason behind this extensive revision is the aim to further reduce the number of traffic fatalities as well as to protect cyclists and pedestrians more than before. The list of new systems to be introduced is long, and also covers numerous accident scenarios that had previously received little attention. For light commercial vehicles (N1), this means that in future they will also have to meet the requirements for frontal, side, rear, and lateral pile impacts in accordance with UN R34, UN R94, UN R95, UN R135, and UN R137. 

    Furthermore, in the future, all commercial vehicles (including buses) will have to be equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems, intelligent speed assistants with traffic sign recognition, accident data storage systems, and warning systems in the event of fatigue as well as declining driver attention and concentration.

    Optimization of assistance systems

    In addition, the operation of automated driving functions will require the installation of numerous systems for driver and vehicle monitoring. A number of new requirements for all commercial vehicles focus particularly on the enhanced protection of pedestrians and cyclists. This includes an advanced emergency braking system that reacts to pedestrians and cyclists, a collision warning system for pedestrians and cyclists, a blind-spot assistant, a reversing assist, and an improved view to the front thanks to specifications for a broader field of vision.

    Since pedestrians and cyclists in particular are often seriously or fatally injured in rear-end or turning accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles in urban environments, the EU Commission sees the necessity for comprehensive improvements here. For some time now, a number of vehicle manufacturers and suppliers have been offering initial turning assistance systems as part of the basic equipment or for retrofitting.

    It turns out, however, that the equipping of the entire vehicle fleet is a longer-term process. For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Transport started early on to urge for the definition of a new UN regulation at the UNECE in Geneva regarding so-called blind-spot information systems and, likewise, initiated a funding program within Germany for the retrofitting of already registered commercial vehicles. The new UN Regulation 151 was adopted in March 2019, and will become European law with the implementation of the revised General Safety Regulation. This is the first step concerning the improved protection of cyclists and pedestrians, and currently further new supplementary UN regulations are being coordinated in various UNECE working groups. The deadlines for the application of the General Safety Regulation have been set for mid-2022. 

    Assistance systems for cars and trucks:

    • Adaptive cruise control automatically adjusts the speed of the vehicle and the distance to the traffic ahead.
    • Advanced emergency braking systems (AEBS) assist drivers in the event of inattention and initiate emergency braking in the event of possible imminent collision.
    • The various sensors of the turn assist system monitor the nearside of the vehicle and detect stationary and moving objects. In critical situations, a visual and acoustic warning is issued.
    • The lane departure warning systems (LDWS) alerts the driver should they unintentionally leave the lane. 
    • The camera of the intelligent light assist detects oncoming and preceding vehicles, and adjusts the headlights so that the other drivers are not blinded.
    • The start-up assist is an extension of the braking system which, whenever the ignition is started while on a slope, prevents the vehicle from rolling backward by maintaining brake pressure until the driver presses the accelerator pedal.
    • Topography-based adaptive cruise control (GPS and Cloud) is an assistance system that uses stored maps and GPS position data to adapt the driving mode to existing conditions in a fuel-efficient manner.
    • In rear-area monitoring systems, ultrasonic sensors automatically monitor the vehicle's rear area when reversing. The system issues a warning when a static or moving object is detected within a remaining distance of 20 to 200 centimeters so as to prevent a collision.
    Philipp Niermann
    Contact person

    Philipp Niermann

    Head of Technical Regulations and Materials, Regulations and Harmonization Division

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