WHITE PAPER: Industry guide for coordinating safe autonomous driving

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The World Economic Forum and industry alliance, The Autonomous, have jointly released a new white paper The Autonomous Vehicle Governance Ecosystem: A Guide for Decision-Makers to help all stakeholders in the transportation industry align in the autonomous vehicle (AV) ecosystem.

The paper draws a landscape of relevant alliances, standardization bodies and collaboration platforms, highlights key stakeholder activities and shows how collaboration is key to overcoming the hurdles of developing safe autonomous driving.

The rise of autonomous vehicle technology has resulted in a rich ecosystem shaped by competition. In this ecosystem, individual corporate groups are working in parallel on technological solutions. With the increasing complexity of technological systems, the need to coordinate the overall safety of automated vehicles increases. Also, supervisory authorities worldwide recognize the need for general technical principles for autonomous vehicles. Within the ecosystem, an extensive network of initiatives and coalitions is now responding to the need for coordination.

While there is a vast knowledge base developed in coalitions and standardization bodies, these consortia often work independently of one another, with sometimes little alignment on common goals across groups. The fact that they often focus on different aspects may lead to a lack of a common objective for the overall industry. The newly published guide explains the interrelations and draws the bigger picture for what is known as one of the most competitive industries.

“Although the automotive industry is highly competitive, collaboration is the only way to succeed in the major challenge posed by autonomous cars: safety assurance,” says Ricky Hudi, chairman of The Autonomous. “Industry alliances like The Autonomous are providing a platform for the autonomous vehicle ecosystem to work together on key safety aspects.”

The Autonomous is an open platform that aims at building an ecosystem of all actors involved in the development of safe autonomous mobility to work together and generate know-how assets.

“The automotive industry has long relied on collaboration to remove competitive barriers, and nowhere is that more important than in safety. These alliances, consortia and standards activities are essential to delivering safe autonomous vehicles”, says Tim Dawkins, lead for automotive and autonomous mobility, World Economic Forum.

To tackle key safety challenges in the autonomous mobility domain, The Autonomous is addressing gaps within the industry, where an alignment on safety is urgently needed, such as in electronic architectures, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. The outcome of the initiative will be concrete reference solutions for particular safety challenges of level 3 and level 4 autonomous driving, compliant with existing safety standards.

The Autonomous ecosystem consists of car manufacturers, technology suppliers, regulatory authorities, disruptors, thought leaders, academia and government institutions and includes supporters such as Audi, Arm, Infineon, BMW and many others.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early 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).