Toyota PAVEs way at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

100 lives a day. Start every article with that. One hundred lives a day are taken, and this is the first tool in years that has addressed the problem with a solution. That was the request of Mark Rosekind, the former head of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A man that looked at bent metal from car accidents to figure out what technology needed to be implemented to prevent mangled bodies. The former top U.S. safety regulator is now the chief safety innovation officer of ZOOX, a Silicon Valley company creating autonomous vehicles in urban centers.

The numbers haven’t changed; over 40,000 people every year are killed in the United States, over 10,000 of them are from people drinking and driving. Those statistics are one of the biggest reasons sighted by the initial twenty-four Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) conference.

Audi was the founding partner of PAVE, a car company that has been leading in the autonomous industry. The goal is to teach the world about connected cars, instead of lobbying the government. Voyage is a company that is partnering with a 125,000 retirement community called The Villages, in Florida. Audi’s Mark Del Rosso talked about a friend’s 85-year-old father that is still driving. He doesn’t want to give up his keys because they signify freedom to him. It brings home the need for change when you think of all the people that could stay in their homes longer if autonomous vehicles come to fruition.

PAVE is adamant that they are not a lobbying group, but an educational group. The group is not focused on standards regulations or lobbying. The sole purpose is to educate the public about the facts and limitations of autonomous electrified vehicles.

Deborah Hersman has chaired the road to zero collision, but she is leaving her post with the National Safety Council to become chief safety officer at Waymo, a self-driving technology development company based in Mountain View, California.

Hersman wants a seismic shift in the way the public views vehicles and safety, “We’ve come to expect 100% safety in aviation and the pipelines that run underneath our communities, but our complacency on the roads continues to kill us.”

Kelly Kay is the Executive Vice President and CFO at Toyota Research Institute (TRI), TRI is using advanced technology to change the way people move, whether it is across town or across the country. Whether it is in their own car or the e-Pallete that Akio Toyoda introduced in 2018 at the Consumer Electronics Show. Kay asked, How do you develop trust with this technology? By creating a trust coalition that educates people on the benefits and limitations of autonomous driving.

Mark Riccobono, President, National Federation of the Blind, used truth in jest to make a very valid point, Sighted drivers cause 100% of the accidents on the road today.

There are great possibilities for the blind with the advent of autonomous vehicles, and Riccobono wants to have access to the discussions from the beginning.

Danny Shapiro, Nvidia, reminded everyone that the company he works for, Nvidia, started as a gaming business, but safety is not a game, “all of this technology is vital to ensure the trust of the public.”

Robbie Diamond from Securing America’s future energy is adamant about the U.S. getting off the dependence of oil. The company website states that Autonomous vehicles will add $800 billion in annual consumer and societal benefits by 2050. It reminds me of a friend in the Government whose emails end with National security is fuel-efficiency. Diamond believes that educating people about Autonomous Connected Electrified and Shared (ACES) will make a difference and he and his 4-star generals are behind this project.

President & CEO, Bryan Mistele says INRIX pioneered the practice of managing traffic by analyzing data through road sensors, digitization, and vehicles. The companies objective is to transform ACES mobility service worldwide by connecting every car and city, and through education.

Kyle Vogt – Co-Founder, President & CTO – Cruise Automation made the point that the ACES and technology are being led by the private sector, not the government. A two-lane highway for hours inspired Vogt to work on autonomous technology.

PAVE says that the number of deaths in the United States has been the same for years. The goal is to build cars that are safer on the roads and to educate the public through factual information so that they have a uniform way of talking about technology.

Expect autonomous vehicle drives for the public to start popping up in your neighborhood.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and the Concept Car of the Year, and former member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year #NACTOY. She is a guest contributor for Via Corsa magazine and Vicarious magazine.

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