Philip Koopman: Autonomous vehicle safety bill needs improvement

The Warrendale-based SAE did issue the J3016 standard mentioned in the bill, but it is a terminology standard only. It does not impose requirements on driving automation systems, and is not intended to ensure safety. I should know, because I’m a member of the SAE committee that issued it.

There is another SAE standard, however, that does cover testing safety: SAE J3018. This standard provides guidance for training safety drivers and ensuring that HAV public road testing is done in a responsible manner. Because Pittsburgh is, and will remain, a development center for HAV technology, with-driver testing will always be essential for the newest innovations…

Putting SAE J3018 into this bill would not be onerous. After all, Pittsburgh-based Argo AI already conforms to that standard, and Motional has also been evaluated for testing safety along similar lines. The New York City DOT already requires conformance to J3018, and Massachusetts is pursuing that path as well.