A new ITU Focus Group on ‘AI for autonomous and assisted driving’ will work towards the establishment of international standards to monitor and assess the performance of the AI ‘Drivers’ steering automated vehicles.
The group is open to all interested parties.
Building public trust in automated vehicles will be the prerequisite to their success in reducing the 1.3 million deaths on our roads each year. The Focus Group’s primary objective is to validate that the driving behaviour of automated vehicles presents evidence to justify this public trust.
Its ultimate aim is to meet the public expectation that:
- AI never engages in careless, dangerous or reckless driving behaviour
- AI remains aware, willing and able to avoid collisions at all times
- AI meets or exceeds the performance of a competent, careful human driver
“Connectivity and automation show great promise to improve road safety,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “This Focus Group is a welcome initiative to ensure that assisted and autonomous driving technologies exhibit the behaviour required to fulfil this promise.”
“Standards support new partnerships,” said Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “This Focus Group builds on over a decade of ITU work to ensure that the convergence of the ICT and automotive industries is rooted in mutual trust and understanding.”
“Should there be an equivalent of a Turing Test for AI on our roads? Absolutely,” said the Focus Group’s Chairman, Bryn Balcombe, Autonomous Drivers Alliance (ADA). “Especially when all drivers, human or AI, need a shared understanding to predict both behaviours and risks.”
The motivations for the project were first elaborated at the third edition of the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, 28-31 May 2019, where discussions led by ADA highlighted the public expectation that AI Drivers should be held to the same legal standards as human drivers.
The original Turing Test is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.
The proposed Turing Test for the road could become the basis for an International Driving Permit for AI. The right hold to this permit would be assessed continuously, based on the AI Driver’s behavioural performance on the road.
The Focus Group will contribute to ITU’s development of technical standards in support of the UNECE Global Forum for Road Traffic Safety (WP.1) and in accordance with the 1949 and 1968 United Nations Conventions on Road Traffic.