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China’s new level standard of driving automation to take effect next March

Gabriella From Gasgoo| September 18 , 2021 16:35 BJT

Beijing (Gasgoo)- China’s State Administration for Market Regulation introduced a new Taxonomy of Driving Automation for Vehicles (GB/T 40429-2021), specific to autonomous driving functions, to come into effect on March 1st, 2022. The taxonomy is expected to help develop the autonomous driving industry and formulate future regulations in the area.

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photo credit: SAMR

The new standard classifies driving automation into six levels from 0 to 5 by various aspects, including dynamic driving task, minimal risk condition, and minimal risk maneuver. Such functions as LCC (Lane Centering Control) and ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) are categorized as Level 1 functions, namely partial driver assistance.

The taxonomy also specifies the different operational responsibilities that the drivers hold under each classification. For instance, drivers are mandated to engage in the driving process when ACC is on. Drivers should be in charge of detecting and responding to emergencies and intervening in the dynamic driving task to ensure safety.

Notably, in level 3 and up, the autonomous driving system is responsible for object and event detection and response tasks, not the driver. The wording in the taxonomy describing the human in charge of dynamic driving task fallback also shifted from “drivers” to “users”. Indicating that under the conditionally automated driving circumstances, drivers are allowed to keep their hands free and only take over the driving task when necessary.  

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