Auto makers including Toyota, GM and Ford are collaborating in the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC) in an effort to help develop safety standards.
The AVSC, formed in April 2019 with SAE International, has now released its first written best practice for In-Vehicle Fallback Test Driver (IFTD) selection, training and oversight procedures to help ensure safe development and testing.
This best practice document provides a structure for the qualifications and training required of the humans that are on board and responsible for safety oversight during the testing of automated driving systems SAE Level 4 and 5 research vehicles.
The AVSC guidelines state that the sole responsibility of an IFTD, or ‘safety operator’, in an ADS-operated vehicle is ensuring its safe operation. Companies engaged in ADS-operated vehicle testing on public roads should follow a rigorous process to attract and train individuals with a technology focus and safety mindset. The consortium adds that thinking through and thoroughly documenting processes that reinforce a culture of safety and continuous improvement should be the cornerstones of any on-road testing program.
The AVSC believes that adhering to best practices like those outlined in the document can reduce risk and engender public trust in automated driving systems and the companies that develop and deploy them.