Industry StandardsAdvancements in technology are poised to completely change the ways in which the equipment manufacturing industry and its customers view mobile equipment and how it's used.

It’s not a matter of if these tech trends will reach maturity, it’s a matter of when it will fundamentally change how people, goods and materials are moved and processed in remote locations.

With that fact in mind, AEM’s Technical and Safety Department is committed to identifying, influencing and communicating worldwide standards, regulatory developments and compliance issues on behalf of its member companies, all while advocating for the safe operation of heavy equipment. And, according to AEM Tech and Safety staff, two distinct groups of standards will greatly influence equipment design in 2019 and beyond:

  • Standards influencing autonomous equipment design and safety
  • Agricultural braking standards (S648 parts 1-5)

Standards Influencing Autonomous Equipment Design and Safety

When it comes to what standards are applicable to autonomous equipment, the following analogy applies: Fill up a balloon with water and smash it on the sidewalk. Then try to collect the water and put it back in the balloon.

Standards work focused on autonomous equipment is incredibly widespread today, especially considering all of the equipment, communications, germane safety standards and practices, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, telematics, and other elements associated with autonomy. It's very difficult to pull all of the pieced together into one package.

As it stands, the automotive industry leads the way. However, equipment operated on roadways does not face near the challenges that off-road mobile equipment face right now. Furthermore, on-road equipment rarely -- if ever -- is designed to engage stationary objects like the material that a bucket would pick up or the crop that is being harvested. The complexities of autonomy for off-road mobile equipment operating among human beings is infinitely more challenging than navigating the known paths using easily identified markers upon which road equipment relies today.

Standards work for mobile off-road equipment is well under way and ongoing. For AEM members working in this space, a number of standards -- developed for different industry sectors -- should be monitored as autonomous equipment is developed:

Ag Sector:

  • ISO 18497 - Agricultural machinery and tractors – Safety of highly automated agricultural machines – principles for design
  • ISO 25119- Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry – Safety related parts of control systems

Automotive Sector:

  • ISO 26262- Road Vehicles - Functional Safety – Multiple parts

Mining and Earthmoving Sector:

  • ISO 17757 Earth-moving machinery and mining – Autonomous and semi-autonomous machine system safety
  • ISO 19014 - Multiple Parts – Earth-moving machine - Functional safety

Information, the standard’s foreword, introduction and scope on most ISO standards can be viewed at:

North American Agricultural Equipment Braking Standards – S648 parts 1-5:

Manufacturers of tractors, self-propelled machinery and towed implements should prepare to review their design and testing processes to accommodate the new proposed ASABE Ag Braking Standards.

The increasing mass and transportation speed led to the decision to update the current standard published by ASAE (now ASABE). The development of a new five-part proposed standard, under the number ASABE S648 - Agricultural Field Equipment Braking, will replace the current S365.9 standard, which was last updated in 2011.

The new standard is drafted in five parts:

Part 1: General Requirements

Part 2: Requirements for Agricultural Tractors

Part 3: Requirements for Self-Propelled and Special Self-Propelled Equipment

Part 4: Requirements for Towed Equipment

Part 5: Requirements for the Interface between Towing Vehicle and Towed Vehicle(s)

While two of the five parts have already been approved, during a recent meeting, outstanding comments on the three unapproved parts were discussed and resolved. Because some of the comments affect the previously approved sections, the whole body of work, including all five parts, went out for what is hopefully the final ballot. 

This standard is not currently available outside of the committee working on it, but once approved, should be acquired and followed.

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