Major Automakers Partner to Set Autonomous Vehicle Safety Standards

SAE International, Ford, General Motors and Toyota are stepping forward to form the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC) that will work to safely advance testing, pre-competitive development and deployment of SAE Level 4 and 5 automated vehicles (click the thumbnail below to see the different levels of automated vehicles).

The AVSC will fill a critical need by providing a safety framework around which autonomous technology can responsibly evolve in advance of broad deployment, according to the group. The work will ultimately inform and accelerate the development of industry standards for autonomous vehicles (AVs) and harmonize with efforts of other consortia and standards bodies throughout the world.

“Being able to advance the safe deployment of SAE Level 4 and Level 5 automated vehicles represents another exciting chapter in the realization of autonomous mobility and the benefits this will bring to people around the world,” said Edward Straub, executive director of the AVSC. “To achieve these benefits, industry collaboration, cohesion and flexibility to merge new ideas with proven safety processes are critical. This is why we are forming the AVSC and announcing our roadmap strategy.”

Ford, General Motors and Toyota share a joint interest in safe deployment of autonomous vehicles, consistent with their long-established commitment to reliability and safety, according to the group.

The consortium will leverage the expertise of its current and future members to establish a set of AV safety guiding principles to help inform standards development. The first output from the AVSC will be a roadmap of priorities. The roadmap is intended to be applicable for developers, manufacturers and integrators of automated vehicle technology and focuses on data sharing, vehicle interaction with other road users and safe testing guidelines.

“We understand that autonomous vehicles need to operate safely and reliably in concert with infrastructure and other road users to earn the trust of the communities in which they are deployed,” said Randy Visintainer, chief technology officer for Ford Autonomous Vehicles. “Our goal with the consortium is to work with industry and government partners to expedite development of standards that can lead to rule making.”

“Safety is at the center of everything we do at General Motors, and that’s certainly the case with our development of self-driving technology,” said John Capp, director of Global Vehicle Safety at GM. “We are eager to bring our experience to this consortium and to collaborate with other like-minded companies, so we can realize the true benefits of this technology and work toward a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”

“Industry collaboration in areas that act as a foundation of automated driving systems and vehicles, such as infrastructure or social systems, is a significant step for us to achieve safe deployment of autonomous vehicles,” said Kelly Kay, Toyota Research Institute executive vice president and chief safety officer. “The formation of this consortium creates a forum to collaborate and cooperate with various stakeholders who will play important roles in forming and synthesizing the automated vehicle eco-system of tomorrow.”

SAE International will leverage the experience of its affiliate organization, SAE Industry Technologies Consortia (SAE ITC), to convene the members of the AVSC. SAE ITC has vast experience in the formation of consortia allowing industry to quickly establish frameworks to address opportunities and challenges, according to the company. The automotive industry is now leveraging SAE ITC’s successful aerospace industry-managed consortia model.

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