What will it take to agree a gold standard for autonomous vehicle safety?

Industry players are coming together to jointly develop global reference solutions for self-driving safety challenges. By Megan Lampinen

The Autonomous forum has been pioneering a collaborative approach to autonomous vehicle (AV) development for the past two years, bringing together a community of players across the mobility ecosystem to establish safety standards and practices. Self-driving technology could accelerate the industry towards Vision Zero, but only if developments are gated by safety.

Ask any panel of AV developers what constitutes ‘safe enough’ for an AV, and you will get as many different answers as there are panel members. AV expert Mark Concannon, Chief Executive of Concannon Business Consulting, expects that the industry won’t approve any mass deployments of AVs until they are “five or ten times safer than the human.” Others have put forward the suggestion of using testing miles as a gauge, though the research organisation RAND Corporation estimates AVs would need to drive “hundreds of millions of miles and sometimes hundreds of billions of miles to demonstrate their reliability in terms of fatalities and injuries.”

Agreeing on what constitutes safety for the various aspects of an AV could go a long way towards realising a self-driving future.

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