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The UK aims to align with international regulations which allow automated steering for parking and cruising

The UK wants people and businesses who buy type approved cars fitted with Remote Control Parking (RCP) and Motorway Assist (MA) technologies to use them in a safe, legally compliant manner.

Therefore, it launched a public consultation to amend the Highway Code and Construction & Use Regulations to align with international regulations which allow automated steering for parking and cruising- namely Regulation No.79’s Series 2 of amendments for Automatically Commanded Steering Functions (ACSF) Category A and B1.

More and more carmakers are introducing Remote Parking and Self-Parking capabilities while SAE Level 2 feature availability expands across their model range. What’s more important though is that Level 2 has reached the compact car segment.


October 2017, saw the 2nd series of amendments of international Regulation No.79 come into force allowing the use of automated steering (ACSF) at speeds above 10 km/h (6.2 m/h). Vehicles type approved after 1 April 2018 will have to comply with these new standards.

Prior to this amendment, automated steering was only allowed for speeds below 10 km/h, i.e. essentially parking and maneuvering which fall under the term Remote Control Parking in modern cars. Under the amendment, type approval of motorway features which automatically control steering, such as Traffic Jam Assist & Cruise Assist will also be allowed.

The next phase of amendments of international regulation, which are scheduled for 2018, are expected to unlock type approval of SAE Level 3-Conditional automation.

Remote Control Parking

Being able to park via remote control can potentially assist in how vehicles are utilised and parked for thousands of UK drivers, providing extra convenience and flexibility.

This technology should also provide great benefit for drivers with mobility impairments, enabling and empowering users to park in confidence where once it may have been challenging to do so.

Source: UK C-CAV

What the UK plans to change regulations:

The current wording within Regulation 110 of the Construction and Use Regulations prohibits the use of a hand-held mobile communications device (such as a phone, tablet) while driving. The use of a hand-held device to park the vehicle therefore lends uncertainty as to whether enforcement authorities or the Court could interpret this as being in contravention of this regulation.

This consultation seeks agreement on our draft statutory instrument, applicable to Great Britain, to facilitate the use of remote parking. Draft amendments to the Highway Code, specifically rules 149, 150, 160 and 2396, have also been included to reflect this regulatory change and provide clarity to drivers within Great Britain; relevant legislation for Northern Ireland is referenced where appropriate.

  • Rule 149: You MUST exercise proper control of your vehicle at all times. You MUST NOT use a handheld mobile phone, or similar device, when driving
  • Rule 150: Driver distraction caused by driver assistance systems
  • Rule 160: Drive with both hands on the wheel where possible; keel to the left, unless road signs or markings indicate
  • Highway Code Rule 239: Use off-street parking areas, or bays marked out with white lines on the road as parking places, wherever possible

Steering assistance of SAE Level 2 systems is limited so don’t take your hands off the steering wheel

The most prevalent ADAS Level 2 driving system is Traffic Jam Assist (TJA) which combines the functions of two Level 1 systems, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keep Assist (LKA). The combination of these two systems enables steering assistance which is limited though to a certain speed depending on the capabilities of the system and requires the attention of the driver since TJA does not have the system capability and redundancy (extra sensing, brain, response) to take control of monitoring the road.

Motorway assist, according to C-CAV

Motorway Assist systems builds on existing systems such as ACC, Advanced Emergency Braking System (AEBS) and LKA to take full control of the vehicle’s position and speed while driving along a high-speed road, such as a motorway.

Manufacturers are already producing low-speed variants of this system for use in start-stop traffic situations (sometimes known as Traffic Jam Assist), providing assisted steering to maintain lane position and speed control up to 40mph.

The EU proposals currently being consulted on are for ADAS that can operate at speeds of up to 81mph. The driver must continue to monitor the system and confirm this through regular interaction with it. Without necessary provision and regulatory change, these technologies will not be able to be utilised on British roads effectively.

On the international stage, new standards incorporating this technology, along with increased scope for motorway assistance systems, came into force in October 2017; Great Britain must be ready to adopt these to ensure a smooth transition to increasingly automated vehicles.

Read more

For an in-depth analysis of the Autonomous Driving regulation in major car markets and how it will affect the AD roadmap of leading carmakers read our report Regulatory guide to Autonomous Driving, Automotive Cyber Security & V2X.

Also, for a technological roadmap for the introduction of Level 2-5 features by leading OEM and a penetration forecast of cars equipped with different levels of autonomy over the next decade read our report Roadmap to Self-Driving cars: Status of Autonomous Driving in 2016, roadmap and strategy of leading OEMs to commercialise AD 

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