Consumer Technology Association produces self-driving vehicle terminology guide for consumers


The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) introduces a self-driving vehicle terminology designed to enable a common lexicon among the technology industry, and better explain to consumers the terms and concepts of the rapidly innovating sector.

The definitions were developed and approved by CTA’s recently-formed Self-Driving Vehicles Working Group that supports driverless vehicle consumer research and policy advocacy; it is chaired by Daimler North America and Waymo, and comprises 34 companies. According to CTA research conducted last year, the vast majority of US consumers (75%) are excited about the many benefits self-driving vehicles can offer, and almost two-thirds want to swap their current cars for completely self-driving vehicles. Additionally, 70% of consumers have a strong interest in testing a driverless car, and almost all drivers (93%) who use existing driver-assist features appreciate the usefulness of these driving technology innovations.

Among the terms and concepts addressed within the self-driving vehicle terminology:

• Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) or ‘Driver-Assist’ features – onboard systems developed to improve safety and performance, such as lane departure warnings, collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control and automatic braking;

• Aftermarket Technology – technology services or upgrades provided by companies, unaffiliated with the vehicle manufacturer, added after a vehicle is sold or leased;

• Driving Environment Sensing – the capturing, processing and analysis of sensor data, such as that from cameras, radar, or lidar, to enhance or replace what a human driver senses;

• MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) – the shift from personal ownership of transportation modes to shared transportation systems and services;

• Platooning – synchronous operation of multiple vehicles, often in a convoy, to increase road capacity and efficiency;

• Self-Driving Vehicle – a vehicle capable of fully modeling its environment through an array of sensors, maps and other data in order to navigate and drive without human interaction;

• Urban Mobility – the ability for people in urban and suburban areas to access all modes and forms of transportation.

“From developments in advanced driver-assist systems to new mobility models, we are together leading a revolution in the transportation sector,” said Jessica Nigro, manager of outreach and innovation policy at Daimler and chair of CTA’s Self-Driving Working Group. “A common lexicon will increase understanding among policymakers, consumers, and other stakeholders, and encourage sound policies to bring automated driving technology to market.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).