New report from International Transport Forum warns AVs may not improve safety


The International Transport Forum (ITF) has released a new report at the ITS World Congress, taking place at the Bella Center in Copenhagen this week (September 17-21), about the impact that automated vehicles could have on road safety. The report could play a key role in helping road authorities to decide if autonomous vehicles should be deployed before or after a regulatory framework is in place. 

The report, titled Safer roads with automated vehicles, warns that contrary to popular belief, autonomous vehicles may not significantly improve safety or traffic flow.

“The lack of experience and data complicates an assessment of how safe automated driving really is,” the report states. “It is further complicated by the lack of a common framework for such a safety performance assessment.” 

The report also suggests measures for road authorities to take when they decide to deploy automated vehicles in the future: 

• Avoid safety performance being used to market competing automated vehicles;

• Carefully assess the safety impacts of systems that share driving tasks between humans and machines;

• Report on safety-relevant data collected from automated vehicles;

• Apply vision zero thinking to automated driving;

• Develop and use a staged testing regime for automated vehicles;

• Establish comprehensive cybersecurity principles for automated driving;

• Ensure the functional isolation of safety-critical systems and that connectivity does not compromise cybersecurity or safety;

• Provide clear and targeted knowledge about the vehicles’ capabilities.

The International Transport Forum is a think-tank for transportation government members. To learn more about the developments of autonomous vehicle safety regulations, visit:

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Rachelle joined Traffic Technology International in early 2016 after having worked for an HR magazine and prior to that, as a freelance sub editor for various lifestyle consumer magazines. As deputy editor, she supports the editor in making each issue and updating the website. Outside of work, she enjoys tap dancing, playing the piano and video games, and eating spicy food.