According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) there are certain features that must be present in order for a car to be classed as fully autonomous.
It comes following the recent Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill and is another way forward in preparing the British public and the rest of the world for the self-driving, artificial intelligence based cars that will soon be cruising our streets.
For a vehicle to be considered fully autonomous, the ABI recommends the 10 following criteria as a minimum in order to be recognised by both insurers and the Government:
- It must comply with the Highway Code as well as UK traffic laws.
- There’s a clear transfer of driving process when handing over the reigns.
- Safeguards need to be in place should any systems fail.
- Sufficient accident reports and records must be filled out to give details including what artificial intelligence (AI) systems were in place at the time of the accident.
- It must clearly describe the fact that’s its autonomous in its name.
- The vehicles must have adequate handover processes in place that involve giving the user appropriate notice if controls are to be handed back for whatever reason.
- There must be a safe driving mode in which the vehicle is capable of of handling all reasonably expected situations alone.
- Functionality must be limited to certain areas or roads via geofencing.
- Emergency handling procedures must be in place that enable the vehicle to avoid or prevent an accident.
- The vehicle must be able to perform a safe stop if unable to carry on for whatever reason or of the driver fails to take control.
The ABI have come up with these criteria in order to help consumers and the Government be able to differentiate between them.
This is extremely important in an AI based society where it may not be obvious to consumers which cars they have control over.
Ben Howarth, senior policy advisor for motor and liability at the ABI believes that within around four years the first batch of fully autonomous vehicles will be on the road.
Hence, why the urgency to get a definitive framework together in which to define autonomous vehicles.
“Setting the definition now also allows the public to get its head around what a fully autonomous car is and safeguards against the over-marketing of high-assistance cars being sold as automated,” said Howarth.
“This is a way of making that distinction obvious and transparent. The next step is understanding which vehicles to insure under the system and which not to.” It’s just another leap forward towards a fully integrated AI society.