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SAE Establishes Exploratory Working Group to Develop Automated Vehicles ‘Usage’ Concept

SAE Establishes Exploratory Working Group to Develop Automated Vehicles ‘Usage’ Concept
Credit: CTL

What city infrastructure could be used or developed to support automated vehicles (AVs) is a recent topic of discussion in the AV research community. NIST researcher Dr. Edward Griffor organized a half-day session on this topic of Digital Infrastructure at the NIST Automated Vehicles Workshop in September 2023, which featured keynote speaker Ed Straub, Vice President of Land Systems for SAE Industry Technologies Consortia and Director of the Office of Automation, SAE International. 

Ed Straub proposed to the SAE On-Road Automated Driving (ORAD) Committee, and it has created, an Exploratory Working Group to develop the concept of an AV ‘Usage Specification’. An initial scoping meeting was held on February 8, 2024, with stakeholders from NIST, SAE, and AV developers and manufacturers. This activity will benefit both AV developers and Infrastructure Owners and Operators (IOOs), including providing better understanding of the purpose and use of AVs and the potential impact on the design of roadways, intersections, traffic controls, and vehicle and infrastructure technologies.

Although many foundational concepts of driving automation have been described in SAE standards, including J3016 and others, the idea of vehicle use or purpose has received little attention to date. But the “intended use” of a vehicle is an important consideration that bridges vehicle technologies with where and how people use them.  This connects the technologies to transportation and innovation stakeholders, including developers and regulators and consumers.

The proposed SAE Exploratory Working Group is anticipated to:

  • further develop the concept of “usage specification” that captures vehicle automation usage or purpose, automation level, and operational constraints;
  • publish results in new SAE standards or revisions of existing SAE standards; and
  • implement the results in an integrated vehicle-infrastructure taxonomy as a widely accessible “database” to align the development of future standards for vehicles and infrastructure.
Released March 1, 2024, Updated April 15, 2024