ALKS is the abbreviation for Automated Lane Keeping System, also known as UNECE regulation R157. This European regulation lays down the requirements a vehicle must meet in order to autonomously perform a number of driving tasks. It is the first step in the development from driver assistance systems - for which the driver is ultimately responsible - to Automated Driving Systems (ADS), fully automated driving for which the vehicle manufacturer is ultimately responsible. ADS cannot exist without ALKS.

The independent driving tasks under R157.00 include driving up to 60 km per hour in the same lane. ALKS is primarily a traffic jam assistant here. Under R157.01, the maximum speed is 130 km per hour and it is possible to change lanes. ALKS can only be used on motorways. The manufacturer must clearly indicate the countries for which he is applying for type approval and the ALKS in the vehicles must be in line with local traffic regulations.

  • RDW is the approval authority who monitors the implementation of the obligations under the new legislation.

    With the digitisation of vehicles and the relevant regulations from R155 onwards, the frameworks are also changing. They become more complex, and are based on: risk analyses, qualitative requirements, open standards, interpretations and externally required knowledge.

    Because standards are no longer fixed, manufacturers, technical services and (other) vehicle authorities may come up with different interpretations. As a result, the role of RDW is shifting towards a central management function. Tasks are becoming more complex, more coordination is required, and there is more dependence on other stakeholders.

    The assessment of the vehicle no longer focuses solely on vehicle safety, but also on the interaction of the vehicle with the driver, with other road users and with the environment. This requires closer cooperation with other parties, such as the CBR and Rijkswaterstaat (the Department of Waterways and Public Works).

    ALKS affects several implementation processes within RDW.

    ALKS affects type approval and MOT, vehicle registration will be more comprehensive and it will be necessary to pay more attention to giving information about ADS systems and to be alert to comments and feedback from the public. RDW may be involved in approvals from other countries if they want to use the Dutch road.

  • The legislation is part of a series of developments related to digital security, including cybersecurity and software updates. In order to be ALKS approved, a vehicle must also comply with R155 Cybersecurity and R156 Software Updates.

    R155 and R156 are mandatory. R157 is not.

  • The regulations lay down a step-by-step approach allowing to verify whether the ALKS system is functioning properly. The first step is the virtual simulation of various traffic scenarios. The second step is to perform a number of critical scenarios on a closed test track with the vehicle. The next step, the 'driving test', takes place on public roads.

    Transfer of Control is also tested. Is the transfer from giving and taking back control between driver and system safe and predictable?

    Once all tests have been completed successfully, the ALKS system is approved.

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