Hogan Lovell’s white paper calls for flexibility as EU establishes first-ever regulatory framework for launch of autonomous vehicles


  • The recently published EU ADS draft regulation represents an important first step towards the harmonization of type-approval regulations for autonomous vehicles in EU Member States, enabling regulatory certainty that will help foster innovation

  • The observations and suggestions provided in Hogan Lovells’ white paper aim to guide regulatory developments at EU and national level by promoting flexibility, security and future industry developments.

MUNICH, October 20, 2021– (BUSINESS WIRE) – Global law firm Hogan Lovells today shared its recommendations on the future of the European regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles (AV), as the European Commission takes an important first step in submitting a draft EU ADS regulation to all 27 member states before a public consultation in November.

The regulatory framework released at the end of September 2021 will be used to help shape the future of AVs in the EU and will have far-reaching implications for the AV industry in Europe for years to come.

The EU draft ADS Regulation sets out type-approval rules for VAs with regard to their automated driving system (ADS) in order to create a harmonized lane for vehicles (SAE / ISO) of ‘level 4’ or ‘Fully automated’ to be deployed on roads across Member States – without a human driver. It also establishes overall security metrics which will be used to compare performance, and will ultimately be used as a metric to enable AV testing and deployment.

Hogan Lovells’ white paper “The Road to Autonomous Vehicles” published today identifies three key recommendations for a legal framework for light commercial vehicles, which will guide regulatory developments at European and national level. They understand:

  1. A broad, holistic and forward-looking approach to type-approval across Europe is important. The regulatory framework should be as flexible as possible. At a minimum, the existing type-approval system should be used as a basis and should not be undone for AV / ADS only.

  2. The assumption of regulatory responsibility and proof of the safety concept should be seen as the deciding factor in regulation. Expertise is essential when it comes to putting VAs on public roads in the market and must be taken into account when assigning roles and responsibilities to different economic operators.

  3. Avoid ambiguities (especially in relation to the existing regulatory framework), inconsistencies and the use of unclear terms and definitions this can lead to interpretation problems and delay the development and commercialization of VAs.

The EU’s draft ADS regulation is part of a broader maturation of the European audiovisual regulatory environment. Other promising efforts are currently being made by France, Germany and the Netherlands, although Germany appears to be deviating from existing broad definitions and a flexible approach applied at EU level. The White Paper stresses that a harmonized approach across Europe providing adequate flexibility will be key to the long-term success of VAs.

Patrick Ayad, global leader in mobility and transport at Hogan Lovells, said:

“This is a key element of research into the future of the European regulatory framework for autonomous vehicles.”

“We have an exciting opportunity to introduce autonomous vehicles to Europe. Current efforts in Europe are encouraging and align well with the recommendations we made in our White Paper today. We need to take a broader and holistic approach to type-approval, as it will be even more valuable and beneficial for this purpose. Technological innovations, new emerging mobility solutions, as well as business and corporate partnerships that are changing the industrial landscape require a flexible framework – this must apply across Europe and in every Member State to work. “

Highlights of the white paper include:

– AV technology and the industry landscape are changing rapidly. The development of an Automated Driving System (ADS) remains a resource intensive endeavor, requiring extensive technical and specialist expertise.

– The challenge facing regulators is to provide a legal framework allowing commercial deployment across Europe. This means defining appropriate “type approval” requirements that meet the dual objective of ensuring the safety of the technology and facilitating commercial deployment in a way that will deliver the value envisioned by the European Commission.

– The actions taken by the French, German and Dutch governments are encouraging as they seek to establish the legal basis for the approval of ISO / SAE level 4 driving automation directly, and not support systems to lower level human conduct.

– The switch from conventional vehicles to VA is a unique and disruptive scenario: it is the first time that not only the vehicle but also the driver (ADS) have been regulated and approved.

– Innovation calls for flexibility. Regulating innovation requires the same. An open and flexible approach has proven successful in audiovisual testing for many years, building on – rather than replacing – existing regulatory concepts. This same lesson should be applied when it comes to defining which entity (or group of entities) should be responsible for presenting the VA – i.e. base vehicle and ADS – to a regulator for type approval.

– Although the European Commission appears to be dealing effectively with this issue as part of its forthcoming ADS-type approval implementing law (which is expected to be in place by July 2022), it appears that the German government is adopting a different approach in the context of its current draft ordinance. implementing the recently adopted changes to the Highway Code allowing the regular operation of SAE / ISO level 4 VAs, which, unlike existing laws, introduces a new definition of “manufacturer” which refers to “vehicle manufacturer”.

Hogan Lovells is one of the world’s leading law firms in its commitment to an industry-focused approach, which enables us to advise our clients sectorally, across practice groups, borders and industries. .

In 2020, we created a new global Mobility and Transport industry group, bringing together our already established Automotive (and Mobility) and Aerospace and Defense industry sectors as well as our new Transport and Logistics industry sector, to better represent the rapid changes facing mobility. is facing. and the world of transport.

The full white paper can be accessed here.

[Ends]

See the source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211020005540/en/

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