GM, Ford, Toyota, and others have developed safety guidelines for the test drivers of autonomous...

GM, Ford, Toyota, and others have developed safety guidelines for the test drivers of autonomous vehicles.

Photo via Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia

For the first time, the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium has published and released guidelines that outline best practices for the selection, training and oversight of human safety drivers for automated vehicle testing.

The objective of the document, which is known as Best Practice for In-vehicle Fallback Test Driver, is to provide a structure for AV safety driver qualifications and training that helps ensure safe automated vehicle testing operations across companies, according to the group.

Specifically, the best practices concern human safety drivers that are on-board and responsible for safety oversight during the testing of automated driving systems SAE Level 4 and 5 research vehicles.

The best practice provides test organizations and infrastructure owner-operators a baseline for test-driving and pilot projects. It recommends a progressive framework for basic driver training that includes a combination of AV knowledge and driving skill, in addition to sound teamwork and communication processes.

Producing safe, reliable vehicles is only part of the challenge of the successful deployment of AVs. This latest initiative is aimed at applying those same high safety standards to people with thorough training of test drivers.

The consortium is a collaborative group of vehicle manufacturers, ride-hailing providers and other key technology stakeholders that includes Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Uber, Daimler, Lyft, and Honda.

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