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Ford, GM & Toyota Join Forces with SAE International to Boost Driverless Safety

Ford, GM & Toyota Join Forces with SAE International to Boost Driverless Safety

Author: Michael Cheng   

New technology calls for updated standards and frameworks. This forward-thinking principle is applicable to several sectors, including artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. In the driverless car sector, Ford, General Motors (GM) and Toyota are addressing such challenges via a collaboration with SAE International – a leading technical safety organization.

The four parties currently make up the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC), which aims to accelerate the creation of new guidelines for self-driving vehicles. According to a press release, the first objective of the AVSC is to develop a reliable safety framework for developers and businesses in the sector.

To ensure relevance and transparency, AVSC will regularly share its progress in tackling various issues associated with developing new autonomous safety standards. More information about the AVSC will likely be revealed during SAE International's World Congress Experience (WCX) event in Detroit later this month.

Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium

The newly formed group will focus on various aspects of safety. In order to accomplish its goals, short-term priority will be given to enhancing vehicle interaction on public roads, improving safety testing procedures and extending data-sharing collection. Specifically, the group encourages sharing data from self-driving sensors equipped on autonomous cars, as such information could streamline tedious testing processes.  

Individual roles of parties participating in the AVSC are unclear at this time.

"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, EVP and Chief Safety Officer at Toyota Research Institute.

SAE International will rely on an affiliate organization, SAE Industry Technologies Consortia (SAE ITC) to help facilitate collaboration within the group. SAE ITC already has experience in this aspect of forming new standards. The organization's contributions include the implementation of an ‘aerospace industry-managed consortia model' currently being used in the automotive industry.

Deploying SAE L4 and L5 Self-driving Vehicles

The AVSC is looking to stay ahead of auto developers, by creating standards for SAE L4 and L5 autonomous cars prior to the technology coming to fruition. Under SAE J3016, SAE International rolled out updates to its frequently referenced Automated Driving Levels. Published earlier this year, the latest iteration clearly differentiates between driver-support features (also known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems or ADAS) and fully automated capabilities.

The latter set of self-driving features are outlined in SAE L3 to L5. Moreover, the description emphasizes that human drivers are not in control of the vehicle – even if an individual is present in the driver's seat when in autonomous mode. Such automated driving levels require new safety standards due to increased responsibility imposed on the driverless vehicle (and automaker that developed the self-driving platform or vehicle).  

"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," explained Edward Straub, DM, Executive Director of the AVSC. 

Michael Cheng
Michael Cheng
Michael Cheng is a legal editor and technical writer with publications for Blackberry ISHN Magazine Houzz and Payment Week. He specializes in technology business and digesting hard data. Outside of work Michael likes to train for marathons spend time with his daughter and explore new places.
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