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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A slew of companies are pushing to define safety metrics and validation methods in hopes of setting — and potentially cashing in on — an industry-wide standard for AVs.

The big picture: Current safety standards govern only the design of motor vehicles — the cars' technical specifications and validation methods to certify they perform as designed. But convincing the public and regulators that self-driving cars are safe will require an entirely different set of standards.

What's happening: The industry has already started work on ISO 21448 (safety of the intended functionality or "SOTIF"), which aims to ensure that even when all the systems in a self-driving vehicle are functioning properly and something unexpected happens, a crash is avoided.

  • But it won't go far enough to ensure an AV is safe when the driver is no longer responsible, experts say.

Various organizations aim to fill the gap with their own suggested AV standards or testing criteria, each hoping the industry will follow their lead. A flurry of announcements hit this week:

  • 11 companies, led by BMW, Intel and others, published a 157-page report, "Safety First for Automated Driving," which lays out 12 "guiding principles" for the development, testing and validation of safe automated passenger vehicles.
  • Intel rival Nvidia, meanwhile, announced in a blog post that it is leading a group of European auto suppliers on AV assessment methods.
  • Underwriters Labs is developing a standard for safety, UL4600, detailed in a new blog post by a technical contributor, Phil Koopman, co-founder of Edge Case Research.
  • They follow January's announcement from Foretellix, an Israeli startup that has raised $16 million by figuring out how to automate AV safety testing by crunching safety-related metrics from hundreds of millions of potential driving scenarios.

Be smart: Each of the groups has a vested interest in trying to promote their own technology or safety approach as the preferred industry standard.

  • Jack Weast, Intel's vice president of AV standards, tells Axios the collective expertise of all 11 companies is represented in his group's report, positioning it not as a proposed standard but "an excellent starting point" for discussion in the industry.
"There are those out there who believe safety should be proprietary — 'Just trust me.' It's a black box.... There are plenty of ways for us to differentiate, but when it comes to safety, it has to be transparent, open and discussed for all to understand."
— Jack Weast, Intel

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Jack Weast's name.

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A member of CIA director Bill Burns' team who traveled with him to India this month was treated for "symptoms consistent with Havana syndrome," CNN first reported Monday.

Why it matters: Current and former officials told the New York Times the incident signals a "possible escalation" in the mysterious neurological symptoms affecting as many as 200 Americans who've worked in overseas posts since 2016.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has been reelected in the national election, the CBC and CTV News projected on Monday night.

By the numbers: The Liberal Party needed to win 170 seats in the 338-seat House of Commons to form a majority government. Preliminary figures show the party ahead with 156 seats just before 1a.m. ET, with over 85% of polling stations reporting.

Pelosi's back-to-school math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may need votes from an unlikely source — the Republican Party — if she hopes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by next Monday, as she's promised Democratic centrists.

Why it matters: With at least 20 progressives threatening to vote against the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill, centrist members are banking on more than 10 Republicans to approve the bill.