Cruise Automation

Companies look to define safety guidelines for self-driving cars

Hands holding up a self-driving car
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.

Exclusive: GM CEO Mary Barra on the race to be first with self-driving cars

GM CEO Mary Barra, facing an aggressive timeline to launch a self-driving taxi fleet, tells "Axios on HBO" they won't deploy the technology until it is safer than a human driver.

Why it matters: In a largely self-regulated industry, it is up to carmakers to demonstrate when self-driving cars are ready for deployment. The race to be first means the buzz and hype have often gotten ahead of the reality.