Questions to Ask About AV Announcements
Dearest reporters! To better assess and report claims about automated driving and automated vehicles (AVs), please consider asking:
- Is a person monitoring the AV from inside the vehicle? Why? Are they always paying attention? How can they intervene? How often do they intervene? (The answer to this should be in the story’s first paragraph, not its last.)
- Is a person monitoring the AV from outside the vehicle? Why? Are they always paying attention? How can they intervene? How often do they intervene?
- Is a person monitoring the AV from a remote center? Why? Are they always paying attention? How can they intervene? How often do they intervene?
- At any moment, what is the ratio between the number of people who are monitoring and the number of AVs that are deployed?
- What are specific examples of difficult scenarios in which a person did not intervene? In which a person unnecessarily intervened? In which a person necessarily intervened? What form did this intervention take?
- What level of automation can the AV achieve? (Note: Levels 0, 1, and 2 are not automated driving. Level 5 is not a credible claim.)
- In what environment is the AV operating? On roads open to other motor vehicles? To bicyclists? To pedestrians? (A side note: State vehicle codes may apply to some private facilities and some public crossings.)
- What infrastructure, if any, has been changed or added to support the AV in this enviroment?
- If the path of the AV is obstructed, does it (a) wait for the obstruction to clear, (b) wait for a person to intervene, or © plan and follow a new path?
- What is the AV’s deployment timeline? For how long will it be deployed? Is this a temporary or permanent service?
- Who can buy the AV or its automated driving feature? Under what conditions?
- Who can ride in, receive products or services from, or otherwise use the AV? Under what conditions?
- As part of the deployment, who is paying whom?
- What promises or commitments has the developer of the AV made to governments and other project partners?
- What previous promises, commitments, and announcements has the developer made about their AVs? Have they met them? Do they still stand by them? What has changed, and what have they learned? Why should we believe them now?
- Why do the developer of the AV and any companies or governments involved in its deployment think that the deployment is reasonably safe? Why should we believe them?
- What will the developer of the AV and any companies or governments involved in its deployment do in the event of a crash or other incident?
- Might the answers to any of these questions change during the deployment of the AV? How and why? What will trigger that change?