Bryant Walker Smith's blog

New Article: How Governments Can Promote Automated Driving

My recently completed article presents steps that governments can take now to encourage the development, deployment, and use of automated road vehicles. After providing technical and legal context, it describes key administrative, legal, and community strategies. It concludes by urging policymakers to facilitate automated driving in part by expecting more from today’s drivers and vehicles. 

Tesla and Liability

An interesting article in last week’s Wall Street Journal spawned a series of unfortunate headlines (in a variety of publications) suggesting that Tesla had somehow “solved” the “problem” of “liability” by requiring that human drivers manually instruct the company’s autopilot to complete otherwise-automated lane changes. 

Human error as a cause of vehicle crashes

Some ninety percent of motor vehicle crashes are caused at least in part by human error. This intuitive claim is a fine place to start discussions about the safety potential of vehicle automation. (It is not an appropriate place to end these discussions.

SAE Levels of Driving Automation

SAE International's On-Road Automated Vehicle Standards Committee, on which I serve along with experts from industry and government, will soon release an information report defining key concepts related to the increasing automation of on-road vehicles. Central to this 12-page report are six levels of driving automation: 0 (no automation), 1 (driver assistance), 2 (partial automation), 3 (conditional automation), 4 (high automation), and 5 (full automation).


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