World Economic Forum and The Autonomous publish industry guide for coordinating safe autonomous driving

  • The rise of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology has resulted in an increasing number of initiatives and coalitions in this field.
  • Different focuses of the initiatives make it difficult for industry stakeholders and policymakers to stay on top of things.
  • The newly published industry guide explains the interrelations among various initiatives and draws the bigger picture of the global AV governance ecosystem.
  • Safety as a key aspect of AV is covered by The Autonomous, a collaboration of major industry players that are jointly working on reference solutions for safety challenges of SAE level 3 and level 4 automated and autonomous driving.

San Francisco/Vienna, April 06, 2021 – The World Economic Forum and The Autonomous today released guidance for industry deciders and policymakers to help them align in the autonomous vehicle (AV) ecosystem. The whitepaper titled “The Autonomous Vehicle Governance Ecosystem: A Guide for Decision-Makers” draws a landscape of relevant alliances, standardization bodies and collaboration platforms. The whitepaper highlights key stakeholders’ 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.

“With an ever-increasing number of alliances and consortia forming, it becomes difficult for industry decision-makers to map the ecosystem, decide where to participate, or how to utilize the know-how produced from these consortia,” says Michelle Avary, Head of Automotive and Autonomous Mobility, World Economic Forum. “The purpose of this whitepaper is to provide guidance to decision-makers from industry and the public sector.”

What exactly makes it so hard for companies to decide where to participate in the ecosystem? 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 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.

The whitepaper “The Autonomous Vehicle Governance Ecosystem: A Guide for Decision-Makers” is part of the World Economic Forum’s Safe Drive Initiative and has been jointly published by the World Economic Forum and The Autonomous.

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About World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.  www.weforum.org

About The Autonomous

The Autonomous is a global community shaping the future of safe autonomous mobility. Initiated by TTTech Auto, The Autonomous is an open platform that brings together the autonomous mobility ecosystem- on the top executive and expert level, to align on relevant safety subjects.

The goal of The Autonomous is to generate new knowledge and technological solutions in the autonomous mobility domain. To achieve that, The Autonomous introduced two strategic streams:

  1. Event Stream – aims to facilitate discussions and networking for leading executives and experts from the autonomous mobility ecosystem
  2. Innovation Stream – aims to facilitate cooperation among industry to work on Global Reference Solutions for various safety challenges. These Reference Solutions conform to relevant standards and facilitate the adoption of safe autonomous mobility on a grand scale. As part of the Innovation Stream, The Autonomous will kick off and facilitate Working Groups to enable the co-creation of recommended practices and concrete developments.

The findings of these strategic streams will be presented at The Autonomous Main Event on September 29, 2021. www.the-autonomous.com

The benefits for companies and organizations contributing to The Autonomous are:

  • Development of safe and best-in-class AD solutions thanks to the wisdom of the crowd
  • Reduction of potential liability risk by tightly working with government and regulatory institutions and fostering user-centric solutions that enable incremental development of autonomy
  • Reduction of development costs by developing modular and reusable Global Reference Solutions and sharing development efforts
  • Accelerating the learning curve by collectively learning from individual failures and field observations
  • Joint definition of state-of-the-art and state-of-practice