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Developing industry standards in the “Wild West” of autonomous cars

Jun 22, 2017

We keep hearing about the technological advances that are making the dream of self-driving cars become a reality.

It's not just about developing the technology to do it. It's also about making sure that autonomous vehicles are safe. And that safety will come from the standards that are set for connected and automated vehicles.

This month, the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run entered into a formal agreement with the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers International, to start creating these voluntary standards.

Andrew Smart, chief technical officer for the American Center for Mobility, joined Stateside to explain why these groups came together now, and why industry standards in general are crucial.

“In the standards arena, it’s almost like the Wild West at the moment,” Smart said. “Because if you imagine, at the moment your car can be communicating to your audio system, so you’re playing through there. You’re talking through it and you can hear it as hands-free technology. So your phone is interacting. But then, your car can then be communicating – in some new models – communicating with the infrastructure as well. But what you have is almost a fundamental disconnect.”

That fundamental disconnect comes in part from the fact that infrastructure, vehicles and smart phones develop at completely different rates. And yet, “it all must work together seamlessly.”

For the full conversation, listen above.

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