UN Advances Electric Vehicle Braking

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The United Nations has adopted new regulations to combat pedal misapplication and introduce advanced braking systems for electric vehicles, aiming to improve road safety and energy efficiency. Key highlights include measures targeting older drivers and automatic transmissions, as well as innovations in braking technology for electric vehicles.

Key Highlights

  • Pedal Misapplication Prevention: The new regulation addresses the frequent issue of drivers, especially older ones, mistakenly pressing the accelerator instead of the brake, often leading to serious accidents.
  • Rising Number of Older Drivers: With global aging populations, the number of older drivers is expected to rise, increasing the risk of pedal misapplication accidents.
  • Automatic Transmission Focus: The regulation specifically applies to passenger cars with automatic transmission, which are more prone to pedal misapplication incidents.
  • Implementation Timeline: The regulation is set to come into force in June 2025, introducing systems to detect obstacles and prevent sudden acceleration.
  • Energy-Efficient Braking Systems: New braking technology for electric vehicles will use stored electrical energy, enhancing energy efficiency and supporting the transition from internal combustion engines to electric power.
UN Advances Electric Vehicle Braking

Pedal Misapplication More Frequent Among Older Drivers

Data from Asia and Europe indicate that older drivers are more likely to confuse the accelerator with the brake pedal. In Japan, older drivers are eight times more likely to make this mistake than younger generations, prompting Japan to propose a draft UN regulation. With an aging population worldwide, the number of older drivers is set to increase significantly. For instance, in Japan, the percentage of driving license holders aged 75 and above is projected to rise from 4% in 2009 to 9.2% by 2025. This demographic shift underscores the importance of the new regulation in mitigating potential road safety risks.

Impact of Automatic Transmissions

The global sales of vehicles with automatic transmissions is another factor contributing to pedal misapplication incidents. In the United Kingdom, seven out of eight pedal misapplications with associated gear confusion involve automatic vehicles. Consequently, the new UN regulation will target passenger cars with automatic transmissions, implementing systems to detect obstacles and prevent sudden acceleration.

UN Advances Electric Vehicle Braking

Advancements in Braking Systems for Electric Vehicles

The surge in electric vehicle sales, projected to reach 45% market share in China, 25% in Europe, and 11% in the United States by 2024, necessitates the optimization of braking energy consumption. Traditional hydraulic systems rely on driver muscle energy and stored energy reserves, while compressed air systems used in trucks and buses convert fossil energy. For electric vehicles, converting electrical energy from batteries to stored energy is inefficient. The new braking technology, utilizing stored electrical energy for both control and energy transmission, aims to enhance energy efficiency and facilitate the shift to electric vehicles.

Regulatory Framework and Implementation

The UNECE Working Party on Automated/Autonomous and Connected Vehicles has developed potential layouts for new braking systems in light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles, ensuring a comparable level of safety. The new regulatory provisions will amend UN Regulations No. 13 and No. 13-H and are expected to be implemented by June 2025, with some manufacturers potentially adopting the new systems by the end of 2025.

For more information, visit the UNECE Working Party on Automated/Autonomous and Connected Vehicles: GRVA Introduction.

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