Receive DVN newsletter headlines for free now !

Getting Coördinated About AV Safety PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 February 2019

Self-driving cars are coming—lots of them, and they'll be here before we can blink more than once or twice. They will surely solve some old problems and bring some new ones; in the long run they'll mean fewer crashes, deaths, injuries, & less property damage because the human driver is by far the main cause. It'll be a hard climb, with incidents misused as excuses to dismiss the technology whole, as when the motorcar began to edge out the horse.

Moreover, we can't wave a magic wand and tomorrow all vehicles are autonomous; there'll be a long mix of human-driven cars in traffic with cars having a range of autonomous capabilities. To that end, it is crucial for all sectors of the automotive industry to collaboratively establish a methodology and standard for safety validation in partnership with global standards boards and regulators. The United States is among the countries leading the way with pending self-driving vehicle legislation and new US DOT AV guidelines, making this a perfect time to engage in these collaborative discussions.
But it's a new situation not just in the states, but round the world, and it calls not only for new regulations, but new ways of thinking and coöperating. The new partnership agreement between Valeo and Mobileye is a perfect exemplar—read about it in this week's news.

Of course, there are many other new issues AVs are putting in front of us. There are thorny ethical questions (should the AV prioritize its owner's safety or that of of the greatest possible number of people?), new concerns (data privacy, hackability...), and complicated structural changes (the chain and hierarchy of liability). There will be disruption (auto insurance industry, parking & traffic ticket revenues). There will be unforeseen issues & unintended consequences. If we all do our job thoughtfully, in the long run the problems will be lesser than they are today. None of us wants to resume typewriters and rotary-dial phones, or horses as primary transport—and now's the time for us all to work coöperatively so eventually none will long for the good (bad) ol' days of more traffic violence.

Let's get to it,

Daniel Stern
DVN Chief Editor


Add comment

Security code