This is a critically important question. And we believe the only way to do this is in collaboration with the entire AV industry and governments around the world. Continuing to work on safety in closed groups or individually won't get us anywhere.
Many have said that "driving safely" is a risk balance between safety and the usefulness of a vehicle. We all make assertive maneuvers to get where we need to go.
Will society allow AVs to drive the same way humans do — assertive maneuvers and all — to get their passengers to their destinations? Or will AVs be required to adhere to more conservative rules, thereby keeping the AV from asserting itself in traffic, moving more slowly than other vehicles and hindering traffic flow?
Safety models such as RSS can help the AV achieve this risk balance. But the safety model itself is only part of the equation. AVs must make assumptions about the reasonable and foreseeable behavior to expect from other road users. Those assumptions — quantified in the form of performance parameters — can then be plugged into the AV's driving policy via its safety model.
A forthcoming standard from the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers — IEEE 2846 — will give regulators clear guidance on the assumptions they can use to decide how safe is safe enough.
The beauty of IEEE 2846 is that it is being developed in the open by representatives from across the global automotive and automated-driving industry, providing the necessary transparency and peer-reviewed confirmation that gives governing bodies assurance of broad industry consensus needed to set regulations.
This is the collaboration we've been advocating since we published RSS, and we are delighted to have more than 27 entities working together to solve this crucial challenge, including co-leaders Waymo and Uber.
Other standards efforts that are limited in membership to only certain kinds of companies or operating in service of proprietary solutions only contribute to skepticism and regulatory delays.