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Self-driving vehicles are often trumpeted as the answer to the million of injuries and deaths that occur each year on the world’s roadways.
Developers and proponents of the technology argue that an automated system that can see, hear, react and make better decisions than humans will reduce the number of crashes that occur every year. And that’s a considerable promise. Some 1.35 million people died in vehicle crashes in 2016, according to the most recent statistics from the World Health Organization.
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Still, there is no way for companies to guarantee that every self-driving vehicle put on the world’s roads can guarantee the same robust level of safety and security.
Eleven companies have formed a consortium to change that.
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The idea behind the “Safety First for Automated Driving,” group (SaFAD for short) is to create a blueprint of sorts that lays out 12 principles for designing — and later testing and validating — safe automated vehicles, Karl Iagnemma, president of Aptiv Mobility told TechCrunch.
This isn’t meant to be a static effort. One technological breakthrough could render portions of the white paper moot. The intent was to create a “living” document that grows and adapts along with technology and the industry, Iagnemma said.
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Nor does the document pick technological winners or losers. Those who sift through the white paper won’t find endorsements for certain sensors, for example. Instead, the group is pushing for common ground on safety.
The papers lays down certain “safety by design” rules that engineers should be thinking about and following from the beginning. This first section of the document lays out 12 guiding design principles such as proper cybersecurity, protections if the system degrades or fails, operational design domain and data recording. A number of the principles deal with how a vehicle operator and the automated driving system interact with each other, including ensuring...
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