A trio of automakers and SAE International have banded together to identify safety principles for the testing and development of Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous vehicles.
The Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium, announced Wednesday in Washington, D.C., will unite Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Toyota Motor Corp. and SAE Industry Technologies Consortia, an affiliate of SAE International, to propose industrywide ideas on how to proceed into the new technology.
Edward Straub, the consortium's executive director, said that as the number of demonstrations and pilot projects involving Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous vehicles has increased, there has been a gap in the safety principles and practices that are going on in public.
The companies plan to share testing and development experiences to compile industry best practices. The group will then release its list of practices so that other manufacturers, technology developers and municipalities have a reference point in setting formal standards, he noted.
"What we think we can do is share experiences and come to agreement to develop these best practices around the way those technologies get deployed and get tested on the public roadway," Straub told Automotive News.
He predicted that the number of manufacturers and technology companies in the consortium will expand beyond the initial three, but did not specify when. The consortium will be based in Troy, Mich., a suburb of Detroit.
Automation technology is categorized on the SAE International spectrum ranging from Level 0 to Level 5. Level 4 does not require human control, and Level 5 is a completely driverless vehicle that is expected to be years in the future.