General Motors, Ford, Toyota, and the Society of Automotive Engineers have banded together to create the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium, or AVSC. The new group aims to build a self-driving car safety framework and begin laying out guidelines for how companies test and implement autonomous car technology.
The three automakers and the SAE announced the new group on Wednesday, and it will focus on building a framework to test Level 4 and Level 5 self-driving cars safely. On the SAE’s autonomous scale, Level 4 and Level 5 cars do not require any input from humans in any scenario. Level 3 cars may still require humans to take over controls in some cases. Every company peddling self-driving technology today continues to work toward Level 5.
“To achieve these benefits, industry collaboration, cohesion and flexibility to merge new ideas with proven safety processes are critical. This is why we are forming the AVSC and announcing our roadmap strategy,” Edward Straub, DM, executive director of the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium, said.
All three automakers are currently working on their own self-driving car technology, with GM ahead of Ford and Toyota with respect to progress. GM operates its Cruise Automation subsidiary, which still plans to commercialize autonomous vehicles sometime this year. However, the consortium will leverage each member’s strengths to lay out protocols for safe testing and inform any future self-driving standards to be implemented in the future.
Regulations and laws surrounding self-driving cars still lack in major countries around the world. For example, in the U.S. specifically, all cars must still feature a steering wheel and pedals. GM has petitioned the NHTSA to reform the regulation, though it hasn’t acted yet. GM showed off its Cruise AV without a steering wheel or pedals that it wants to test publicly a few years ago.
The group’s first order of business will be to create a roadmap for future goals and priorities. The document will surround data sharing, vehicle interaction with other road users, and safe testing guidelines.