| 12:16 PM EST

SAE Updates Standards for AV Test Drivers

SAE International has unveiled guidelines for human backup drivers during testing of Level 3+ autonomous-driving systems on public roads.  

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SAE International has unveiled guidelines for human backup drivers during testing of Level 3+ autonomous-driving systems on public roads.

 

The initial SAE J3018 standard for AVs, issued in 2015, defined six levels of autonomy (0-5) and identified base safety guidelines for vehicle testing.

But the standard largely ignored the role of backup drivers, who have come under greater scrutiny after an Uber test car operating in autonomous mode struck and killed a pedestrian last year while the backup driver was watching a television program on her phone.

SAE notes that different skill sets are needed for drivers in early stage prototype cars that require more frequent intervention and those in vehicles with more advanced technologies. While all backup drivers need to be ready to take control of a vehicle as necessary, SAE says those operating early stage prototypes should be trained for emergency handling and evasive driving techniques.

Classroom training should cover driving etiquette, defensive driving, situational awareness and autonomous vehicle technologies, according to SAE. The trade group also recommends testing on simulators, closed tracks and public roads.

Test vehicles should be staffed with two people to better manage workload and keep each other attentive, SAE recommends. This also would allow the backup driver to focus on the road, while the other person can input data or perform other tasks.

The new standard includes guidelines for how long backup drivers should work between breaks and advice about handling other variables that can cause distraction or fatigue.

More information is available HERE.

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