The field of self-driving cars is now like the Wild West, according to foreign media CNET. While there are some federal guidelines, current regulations on the safety of self-driving vehicles vary from state to state in the United States and are still inadequate. The Self-Driving Vehicle Safety Alliance (AVSC), set up by car companies such as Ford, General Motors and Toyota, is trying to change that.
The alliance’s latest proposal revolves around the operation and best practices of human-safe drivers responsible for class 4 and class 5 self-driving cars. These self-driving cars (when they’re perfect) don’t need any human help, but they need to be controlled when they start to fail. Best practices proposed by the alliance include what companies should look for in safe human drivers, their training, and how to monitor driver performance.
AVSC’s recommended benchmark for safe drivers is at least three years of driving experience. However, the company should also conduct a record check (perhaps to determine if there is a distracted driving situation) and recommend a driving assessment test.
While it is not clear what kind of training car companies will provide to safe drivers, AVSC says environmental training, interactive training and skills assessments should be conducted. This should include classroom training, testing of self-driving cars, and evaluation of closed course training for humans to supervise self-driving cars. As for the framework for ensuring operator safety, the alliance recommends a way for companies to monitor driver behavior. Finally, each operator should be asked to brief each course.
AVSC was established in April this year. The group’s founding members include General Motors, Toyota and Ford. Since then, many other companies, including Honda, Daimler and Uber, have joined the alliance. The agency’s overall goal is to ensure that testing of self-driving cars is a safe and responsible practice. As technology advances, these guidelines will be crucial if driverless cars are to be deployed more widely.