Intel and major car manufacturers set out safety standards for self-driving cars

3 Jul 2019

Image: © Brian Jackson/

A list of companies including BMW, Audi, Intel and Volkswagen laid out 12 guiding principles for the development of AVs.

This year, a team comprising some of the world’s largest car manufacturers joined forces with a number of tech companies to set out safety standards for the development of self-driving cars.

Yesterday (2 July), those companies published their guidelines in a paper called ‘Safety First for Automated Driving’. In this paper, Aptiv, Audi, Baidu, BMW, Continental, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Here Technologies, Infineon, Intel and Volkswagen laid out 12 guiding principles for any company that plans to develop an autonomous vehicle (AV).

Spread out over more than 100 pages, the 12 topics covered in the publication are: safe operation, operational design domain, vehicle operator-initiated handover, security, user responsibility, vehicle-initiated handover, interdependency between the vehicle operator and the automated system, safety assessment, data recording, passive safety, behaviour in traffic, and a safety layer.

There’s also a section on ‘elements’, which covers radar, cameras, HD maps, LiDAR, and other sensors and equipment that will likely be used in AVs.

Intel shared the guidelines to its blog, writing: “Developing AVs that are verifiably safe by design is critical to enabling higher levels of autonomy on public roads. ‘Safety First for Automated Driving’ brings together vast expertise from leading global automakers, suppliers and technology providers in the industry’s first comprehensive guidance for developing safe-by-design autonomous vehicles.”

Karl Iagnemma, president of mobility at Aptiv, told TechCrunch that this “blueprint of sorts” doesn’t just lay out principles for design, but principles that could eventually be used for testing and validating safe automated vehicles. However, Iagnemma called it a “living” document that will have to grow and adapt along with technology and the industry, as “one technological breakthrough could render portions of the paper moot”.

At the end of the paper, the companies involved said it was “not a one-off publication, but should be viewed as a first version”.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Transport has been attempting to prepare for the introduction of AVs. It appears to be struggling to put together new regulations on testing cars without a driver, submitting accident reports during public road tests, voluntary safety reports, remote monitoring and all of the other “unscripted situations” that AVs are throwing at us.

At present, more than 80 companies in the US have been testing more than 1,400 self-driving cars, trucks and other vehicles. The US is currently ranked as the fourth most prepared country in the world for AVs, in a list that was topped by the Netherlands, Singapore and Norway. Meanwhile, the UK ranked in seventh place while Ireland failed to reach the top 25.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic