TO THE EDITOR:
Trevor Owen Jones’ letter (“We have proving grounds for this,” June 4) was spot on. Each of the OEMs has at least one private proving ground, and each of the major Tier 1 suppliers has or has access to a proving ground. Michigan has a new test facility at Willow Run Airport.
These proving grounds are secure and have road conditions and driving scenarios that can be safely used and provide reproducible test data. Jones reminded me that mandatory pursuit of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis for autonomous driving is paramount.
The “Warranted Safe for Use Under All Conditions” implied with a vehicle sale will require thoughtful and robust FMEA testing under controlled conditions to ensure the product is safe for commercial sales and usage.
An organization, as proposed by Jones, could provide a venue for serious, technically structured and reproducible test data for autonomous vehicle development.
Spearheaded by Automotive News and joined by SAE (or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), this could provide the momentum for a conference that could highlight the testing facilities available to electronics developers and ride-sharing entrepreneurs to test autonomous vehicles under controlled conditions in a safe, sane and thoughtful manner.
In addition, this conference could present the work to date on autonomous vehicle development and the developments necessary to commercialize vehicles that are safe and supportive of the industry movement toward zero crashes and fatalities.
I would be delighted to help with conference planning and organization.
JOSEPH F. ZIOMEK, Fellow, SAE International, Islamorada, Fla. The writer, who is retired, held engineering management positions with TRW, Ford and TASC.