Best Practice to Help Facilitate Industry/Public Communication, Calibrate Expectations, and Improve Acceptance of SAE Level 4 and Level 5 ADS-Equipped Vehicles

WARRENDALE, PA. – The Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium™ (AVSC), a program of SAE Industry Technologies Consortia (SAE ITC®), has launched the AVSC Best Practice for Interactions Between Automated Driving System-Dedicated Vehicles (ADS-DVs) and Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs). At a high level, VRUs are essentially any human road user not occupying a vehicle. While individual ADS developers may have exceptions, AVSC describes three simple criteria to clarify discussions involving ADS interactions with VRUs.

The variety of characteristics and behaviors across the many groups of VRUs adds unique challenges to ADS development. There is currently no consensus on all factors to consider during ADS interaction with VRUs but broadly speaking, safety during traffic interactions can be improved when all actors share a general understanding of the world around them and how they interact with each other. The document was developed from the perspective of an ADS-DV operating without reliance on external digital communications (i.e., interacting with VRUs that are not connected through some digital communication device such as vehicle-to-pedestrian, vehicle-to-bike, or vehicle-to-infrastructure).

“This new best practice establishes common terminology and provides readers insight and a framework to help baseline an understanding of challenges posed to evaluate ADS-DV interactions with VRUs. The content can be used to facilitate communication across industry and the public, help calibrate the expectations of all traffic participants and improve broader acceptance of SAE Level 4 and SAE Level 5 ADS-equipped vehicles”, said Dr. Edward Straub, executive director, AVSC.

ADS developers can reference this document for considerations related to interactions between SAE Level 4 and SAE Level 5 fleet-managed ADS-DVs and VRUs. Non-experts should come away with a greater appreciation of the challenges during these interactions. This appreciation and shared framework for interactions should ultimately lead to greater acceptance of ADS- DVs.

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