Governments must help consortia drive autonomous-vehicle progress
There are a number of consortia being created to push the way for us all to see connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) on our roads.
Nissan, for example, has joined ServCity to develop a blueprint to enable cities to introduce them into cities across the UK. Similar consortia have been created in the country, and internationally – such as the Autonomous Vehicle Computing Consortium (AVCC) in the United States. The AVCC is consortium includes companies such as Arm, Bosch, Continental, Denso, General Motors, Nvidia, NXP Semiconductors and Toyota. The consortium’s website says their goal is to “accelerate the delivery of safer and affordable autonomous vehicles at scale” with a view to making fully autonomous vehicles a reality through “industry-level collaboration”.
In order to achieve this ambition the AVCC, like many other consortia including ServCity, have got off the starting block by developing a set of recommendations and defined standards to follow, with the AVCC focusing on a “system architecture and a computing platform to promote scalable deployment of automated and autonomous vehicles”.
Paul Campion, CEO, of the UK’s Transport and Research Laboratory (TRL) explains why there an increasingly prevalent trend to create consortia for the development and testing of connected and autonomous vehicles: “Prof. Mariana Mazzucato, director of the Institute of Innovation in Public Purpose at UCL, has become quite influential in the UK government’s thinking. She talks about how innovation happens in the real world, and challenges the view that innovation occurs through investment capitalists alone.
“For example, in the iPhone the LCD display and the notion of the internet as well as a lot of the original research on semi-conductors came out of public expense. The idea that’s become common is ‘mission-based’ innovation, such as the Apollo Moon program. You need academia, industry and the state. The state is the only player that can afford a long-term view. Industry has to focus on a short-term view to make profits.”
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