AI Regulation and the automobile industry
How the new EU proposal for Artificial Intelligence Regulation refers to the automobile industry
The Commission recently proposed the first ever legal framework on AI, which addresses the risks of AI and whose aim is to position Europe to play a leading role globally. The aim is to find reliable legal solutions to issues such as the complexity of AI, its bias, a certain degree of unpredictability and partially autonomous behaviour of certain AI systems, in order to ensure their compatibility with fundamental rights and to facilitate the enforcement of legal rules.
In the description of the objectives of the proposal, the Commission differentiates between products using AI that belong to the so called New Legislative Framework (NLF) legislation (such as machinery, medical devices, toys) and those cover by the old approach legislation (aviation or vehicles). For the first category of products, as regards high-risk AI systems, the requirements for AI systems set out in this proposal will be checked as part of the existing conformity assessment procedures.
For vehicles, the proposal will not directly apply. However, the ex-ante essential requirements for high-risk AI systems set out in this proposal will have to be taken into account when adopting relevant implementing or delegated legislation under those acts.
This EU approach to Artificial Intelligence was welcomed by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). ACEA shares the opinion that it is essential that the technical requirements for automotive products should be integrated into the existing vehicle type-approval framework in order not to duplicate the requirements. It also hopes that this approach will be further supported by the co-legislators (the European Parliament and Council) throughout the ordinary legislative procedure.
As ACEA further notes, many of the potential AI legal requirements have already been addressed effectively into established processes governing the automotive sector and also at international level (UN‐ECE), legislation has been recently adopted and more is currently being drafted to address various issues surrounding AI (such as automated driving).