- A coalition of automakers, tech leaders and various associations related to automotive development have launched the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), a first-of-its kind campaign to inform the public and policymakers about the current and impending impacts of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies.
- The campaign, announced this week at CES, aims to raise awareness and understanding of AV technologies through events, educational workshops and informational materials to help auto dealers inform customers.
- The PAVE members include: AAA, American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Audi of America, Autonomous Intelligent Driving, Aurora, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), Cruise, Daimler, GM, INRIX, Intel, Mobileye, Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., National Council on Aging, National Federation of the Blind, National Safety Council, NVIDIA, SAE International, Securing America’s Future Energy, Toyota, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Volkswagen, Voyage, Waymo and Zoox.
As evidenced in a study released this week by Deloitte, consumer trust in AVs is lagging the automotive industry's pace of investment in and development of the technology. Some AV proponents argue it is due to misinformation about the capabilities of the technologies, while others note this can be attributed to, at least in part, media coverage of AV mishaps and a skewed interest in AV scandals.
Despite the reasons for a lack of trust in AVs, industry leaders know the ball is in their court to work with the public and policymakers to demystify AV tech. "Helping Americans understand automated vehicle technology and its potential benefits will be a hands-on affair for PAVE," the coalition wrote, noting it will make an effort to physically introduce the public to AV technologies and allow skeptics to feel and experience AVs to increase familiarity.
Similarly for policymakers, PAVE will work with officials on federal, state and local levels to help them understand how to approach complex questions around the regulatory side of AV development. Safety is also "at the heart" of PAVE's mission; members such as the National Safety Council will be available to educate policymakers on the necessary steps to ensure traffic accidents and fatalities will become a thing of the past in the AV era.
"We believe that our roads can be safer, that we can open new roads for Americans who are unable to drive because of disability or other factors, and that we can enhance mobility while also reducing the environmental and other impacts of vehicle travel to make our transportation system more sustainable," PAVE wrote on its website.