Autonomous Vehicle Report- April 5

By CRM Staff 

Toronto, Ontario — April 5, 2019 —Ford, General Motors (GM) and Toyota, along with SAE International, have established a new consortium that will focus on the safety of autonomous vehicles.

SAE International, a global association of engineers, said that Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC) would work “to safely advance testing, pre-competitive development, and deployment of SAE Level 4 and 5 automated vehicles.”

SAE International has outlined five “levels” of driving automation, with the highest being fully autonomous, where a vehicle’s automated features can drive under all conditions.

“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,” Randy Visintainer, chief technology officer at Ford Autonomous Vehicles, said in a statement. 

“Our goal with the consortium is to work with industry and government partners to expedite development of standards that can lead to rulemaking,” Visintainer added.

Edward Staub, the executive director of newly formed AVSC, said that being able to advance the safe deployment of level four and level five vehicles represented “another exciting chapter in the realization of autonomous mobility and the benefits this will bring to people around the world.” 

“To achieve these benefits, industry collaboration, cohesion and flexibility to merge new ideas with proven safety processes are critical,” Straub said.

In January the city of Ottawa announced that it is preparing to open a 16-kilometre test track for autonomous vehicles, which will include the testing of fully autonomous (Level 5) vehicles.

The designated testing zone will allow manufacturers to develop and test driverless cars, without entering public areas and endangering the city’s occupants, and will be the only facility of its kind in North America.

“I think it’s very important that we have a facility in Ottawa where we can test the vehicles and make sure that they are working properly and safely,” said Egli. “Our traffic services partners have been working to make it a real functioning site.

“They are working to make a standard road network with traffic control, signs, roadway markings. It will in every way mimic a general use road, which of course is what you want to have.”

Despite the progressive steps being taken to develop autonomous vehicle testing, skepticism regarding the technology’s safety still remains. It was just over a year ago, March 2018, when a pedestrian was struck and killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle in Tempe, Arizona.  

“There are no rules right now, international rules, on how to regulate automated vehicles,” Philippe Crist, from the International Transport Forum, told CNBC in January 2018.

“The safety regulation of automated vehicles will have to be the same as for regular vehicles, using the same principles,” Crist added.

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