The World Economic Forum today released guidance for policymakers to create performance-based regulations for autonomous vehicles (AVs). A sort of ‘virtual driver’s license,’ the framework creates a roadmap for regulators to work with AV developers to create licensing or permitting programs that certify a basic level of an AV’s safety even before they hit the roads. This offers a more effective alternative to current practices which require regulators wait for reports of safety concerns from AV developers after their cars are already testing on public roads.
The newly released Safe Drive Initiative: SafeDI scenario-based AV policy framework lays out a four-step process to help regulators build situational assessments for AVs that can be administered both in simulated and physical settings. This sets out a pathway for local regulators to create a safety assurance programme based on actual situations AVs will encounter in their cities, roads and motorways.
“Better AV policy starts with better data,” said Tim Dawkins, Lead, Automotive and Autonomous Mobility, World Economic Forum. “A more proactive approach to AV regulations will enable regulators to structure a safety evaluation which reflects the safety requirements of the roads in their jurisdiction and uphold common standards across different types of AVs.”
Currently, many regulators rely on lagging metrics, such as “disengagements”, when an AV safety driver is required to intervene and take control of the vehicle to assess AV safety. The Forum’s framework encourages a scenario-based approach, which enables regulators to set milestones to assess the behavioural competency of an AV before it hits the road. By prioritizing key scenarios, this approach also allows for comparison between various types and classes of AV.
Building on existing policy best practices and relevant technical standards, the Forum’s Safe Drive Initiative offers an actionable framework for regulators to develop a scenario-based safety assurance programme through a four-step process:
- Prepare – dedicate resources, set a vision and engage relevant stakeholders
- Define – detail interim milestones in a graduated approach
- Measure – determine required tests for each milestone
- Execute – establish a reporting programme and iterate
These steps have been developed with the support of industry leaders in the autonomous vehicles sector and are aimed at helping regulators and AV developers collaborate to prove AV systems’ safety.
“With the experience gained from testing AVs at AAA Northern California’s GoMentum Station, and from research with collaborative partners, we believe this framework lays out concrete steps towards safely deploying AVs and educating the general public on this emerging technology,” said Atul Acharya, Director of Autonomous Vehicles Strategy & Operations for AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah.
The “Safe Drive Initiative” framework was developed following extensive engagement with the Forum’s industry partners, complemented by interviews with a range of governments and regulators around the world and studying parallel initiatives. In coming months, the Forum is seeking to pilot its approach with interested regulators and AV developers.
Why cybersecurity in the EU should matter to you
From stolen data to blocked hospital systems: cyberattacks can have perilous consequences. Learn more about cybersecurity and its importance.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of the economy and society, creating opportunities as well as challenges. By 2030, 125 billion devices could be connected to the internet, up from 27 billion in 2017 while 90% of people over six are expected to be online. As cyberspace is by design interconnected and digital and physical are increasingly intertwined, new dangers emerge.
- Cyberattacks are attempts to misuse information, by stealing, destroying or exposing it and they aim to disrupt or destroy computer systems and networks
- Cybersecurity includes information and communication security, operational technology and the IT platforms required to ensure the safety of digital systems
- Cyberdefence includes cybersecurity and threat analyses and strategies to protect against threats directed at citizens, institutions and governments
Cyber threats in the EU: personal and societal costs
The use of digital solutions has long been on the rise and teleworking, online shopping and keeping in touch online rose sharply during lockdown. These solutions can benefit consumers and support the economy and the post-Covid recovery. However, there has been a corresponding increase in malicious cyber activities.Attackers may use phishing websites and emails with malicious links and attachments to steal banking information or blackmail organisations after blocking their IT systems and data.
A secure cyberspace is the basis for the EU’s digital single market: enabling solutions and unlocking its full potential by making people confident online. The 2019 Digital Economy and Society Index showed that security concerns limited or prevented 50% of EU internet users from performing online activities. The 2020 index indicated that 39% of EU citizens who used the internet experienced security-related problems.
The damage caused by cyberattacks goes beyond the economy and finance, affecting the very democratic foundations of the EU and threatening the basic functioning of society.
Essential services and critical sectors such as transport, energy, health and finance, have become increasingly dependent on digital technologies. This, together with the increase in physical objects connected to the Internet of things, can have direct consequences, including making cybersecurity a matter of life and death.
From cyberattacks on hospitals, causing them to postpone urgent medical procedures, to attacks on power grids and water supply – attackers are threatening the supply of essential services. And as cars and homes become increasingly connected, they could be threatened or exploited in unforeseen ways.
Cyberattacks, deployed with for example disinformation, economic pressure and conventional armed attacks, are testing the resilience of democratic states and institutions, directly targeting peace and security in the EU.
Cybersecurity in the EU
Businesses and organisations in the EU spend 41% less on cybersecurity than their US counterparts. The European Union has been working to strengthen cybersecurity to allow the EU to become a global cyber player. MEPs recently called for common EU cyber defence capabilities and are working to ensure a high common level of cybersecurity in the EU.
Standards & Digital Transformation – Good Governance in a Digital Age
In celebration of World Standards Day 2021, celebrated on 14 October every year, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is pleased to announce the launch of a brochure, “Standards and Digital Transformation: Good Governance in the Digital Age”.
In the spirit of this year’s World Standards Day theme “Shared Vision for a Better World”, the brochure provides insights into the key drivers of the digital transformation and its implications for sustainable development, particularly people, prosperity and planet. Noting the rapid pace of change of the digital transformation, with the COVID-19 pandemic serving as an unanticipated accelerator, the brochure highlights the role of standards in digital transformation governance. It further considers the principles necessary for guiding the collaborative development of standards in the digital technology landscape to ensure that the technologies remain human-centered and aligned to the goals of sustainability.
This year’s World Standards Day theme highlights the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) representing a shared vision for peace and prosperity, for people and planet. Every SDG is a call for action, but we can only get there if we work together, and international standards offer practical solutions we can all stand behind.
This brochure is a summary of a publication set to be released in November 2021.
Download it here.
AutoFlight presents V1500M – an autonomous passenger eVTOL aircraft
Shaping the future of urban air mobility: The tech company AutoFlight shows an autonomous passenger eVTOL aircraft: the V1500M. It will change the face of personal air transportation. AutoFlight debuted its autonomous fixed-wing passenger electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (“eVTOL”) to the world at the China Airshow in Zhuhai.
With its sleek looks and innovative technology the V1500M doesn’t rely on runways and airports. It can vertically take-off and land anywhere anytime. Virtually any rooftop or flat surface becomes a vertiport. When it reaches a certain altitude, the power system turns on the dual prop pusher, so that V1500M is able to cruise at speeds of a fixed-wing airplane. And in low-altitude airspace, the all-electric design enables the aircraft to operate at a very low noise level.
As the energy consumption in the fixed wing mode is much lower than in the multirotor mode the V1500M can fly much further than any pure multicoptor eVTOL.
Being able to fly without a pilot, the V1500M’s uses eight lifting motors to take off and land vertically like a multi-rotor aircraft, and fly as far as 250 km when carrying up to four passengers. At the moment, a safety pilot is still mandatory. Yet as technology advances and regulations become increasingly refined, that space can later be allocated to another passenger or extra luggage.
“The V1500M is a milestone – not only for AutoFlight but also for the global development of the urban air mobility“, so Tian Yu, founder and CEO of AutoFlight. “Our company is committed to developing safe and reliable passenger eVTOL aircraft and helping to create a better mobility future.”
In terms of safety, AutoFlight with its rich experience in aircraft design, manufacturing and its dedication to make reliable flying cars, following aviation industry’s standards. The lifting rotor’s and prop pusher’s redundant power system guarantees that the aircraft could hover safely when two of the rotors malfunction. In case of one propeller failure, the other still ensures safe flight and landing. The V1500M also has an whole-aircraft parachute, which is designed to act as the last line of safety to protect passengers so they enjoy safe flying.
V1500M will accomplish its first flight in the near future. The goal is to certify the aircraft with the aviation authorities by 2024.
Tian Yu: “AutoFlight will keep contributing to the eVTOL industry. Through building safe, efficient, systematic R&D and AC processes, leveraging domestic and international resources and establishing partnerships across industries, AutoFlight strives to accelerate the practical implementation of eVTOLs in commercial applications and lead us into a better future with UAM.”
With its tradition and the experience, AutoFlight aims to create cost-effective, safe, and reliable eVTOL
AutoFlight is one of the earliest tech companies in China to start making autonomous eVTOL, including large payload logistic and autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Logistic UAVs were introduced first. They have now accumulated over 10,000 hours of flight time and been tested in all kinds of extreme conditions.
AutoFlight owns proprietary intellectual property rights in key technologies such as flight control systems, electrical systems or other core components. They have obtained over 200 domestic and international patents for its self-developed modules including highly efficient electric motors, electronic control systems, and durable lightweight carbon-fiber composite materials.
“Following our cargo-to-passenger-strategy we go ahead step-by-step but very straight forward“, says Tian Yu.
|V1500M’s Key Specifications|
|Aircraft length||10.3 m|
|Fuselage height||3.1 m|
|Maximum take-off weight (MTOW)||1500 kg|
|Typical seating||3 – 4|
|Cruise speed||200 km/h|
|Flight range (fully seated)||250 km|
AutoFlight is a global high-tech startup, born in China, specializing in developing and manufacturing autonomous aerial vehicles. AutoFlight’s mission is to provide safe and reliable aerial logistic systems and urban air mobility solutions for human society. By leveraging new technologies in aviation, new material, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, and 5G, AutoFlight actively drives development in eVTOL (electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing) industry.
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