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30 September 2019
IRF at the UN for Traffic Safety and Automated Driving

The International Road Federation was among the stakeholders invited to attend the 79th Session of the Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety (17-20 September) and the 4th session of the Working Party on Automated/Autonomous and Connected Vehicles (GRVA) (24-27 September), both of which took place at the UN Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety aims to share information on national and international road safety activities and initiatives, including recent and forthcoming changes to their traffic legislation, as well as information on related upcoming events. On the other hand, GRVA aims to address safety and security of vehicle automation and connectivity, Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and driving dynamics issues at regulatory level, ensuring harmonisation at global scale.

With regards to the discussions held during these meetings, one key topic was deliberated in both sessions: Automated Driving. One of the most relevant issues is related to the definition of the word “driver” included in the Conventions on Road Traffic (1949 and 1968). This particular word has become pivotal in the global debate on road safety since it creates division based on different interpretations with regards the usage of automated functions within a vehicle. Specifically, Article 8 of both Conventions states “Every vehicle or combination of vehicles proceeding as a unit shall have a driver” (1949) and “Every moving vehicle or combination of vehicles shall have a driver” (1968). A “driver” is defined as a “person who drives the vehicle” i.e. a human being, therefore the introduction of vehicles without a “driver” poses an issue that needs to be resolved.

The IRF, representing the road infrastructure sector, closely follows all the automated driving discussions with the aim to beof: first and foremost, being up-to-date with all recent developments, and, secondly, to represent the interests of its members and work on its mission to promote the development of roads and road networks that enable access and sustainable mobility for all.

The IRF looks forward to participating in the upcoming meetings to be held at the beginning of 2020.

For more information, please contact the IRF Secretariat at info@irfnet.ch