AAA, Torc Robotics to Develop Safety Criteria for Self-Driving Vehicles
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AAA, Torc Robotics to Develop Safety Criteria for Self-Driving Vehicles

Torc Robotics and AAA Northern California Nevada & Utah recently announced a partnership to develop safety criteria for self-driving cars through a testing program on public streets.

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Torc Robotics and AAA Northern California Nevada & Utah recently announced a partnership to develop safety criteria for self-driving cars through a testing program on public streets.

Using Torc’s self-driving system, called Asimov, the partners will collect data from various urban safety cases they observe while driving. In addition to data collected by Torc during previous testing, the partners will collect data in Las Vegas this year and in additional cities in the near future.

The experience and information gathered will help inform safety for the developing industry, according to the organizations.

The new program is part of AAA Northern California Nevada & Utah’s (NCNU) larger effort to study and test autonomous vehicles. In October, it announced a partnership with GoMentum Station, the largest testing facility for self-driving cars in the United States. AAA NCNU also partnered with the city of Las Vegas to launch the nation’s first public self-driving shuttle in downtown Las Vegas.

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“Self-driving vehicles have the potential to dramatically reduce traffic fatalities on our roadways, most of which are caused by human error,” said Tim Condon, president and CEO of AAA Northern California Nevada & Utah. “By creating a blueprint for automakers to follow, we hope to build public trust in technology that could save and enrich millions of lives.”

Torc’s Asimov system is the product of 10 years of autonomous-system experience following its third-place win in the historic 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. The Asimov system has been tested on public roads in more than 20 states, including a cross-country drive in July 2017, according to the company.

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“Autonomous technology will only bring a transportation revolution once it is safe enough and widely adopted,” Torc Robotics CEO Michael Fleming said. “We continue to refine our proven technology and are now working on helping to integrate self-driving cars into society.”

He emphasized that exposure to the technology with a trusted brand and frequent interaction are key to increasing confidence. According to a recent AAA survey, 75 percent of Americans confess to being skeptical of riding in and sharing the road with self-driving cars.

“As one of the most experienced self-driving technology companies, we are excited to be pioneering self-driving safety standards for the 21st century with the country’s oldest auto safety organization,” Fleming  said. “We believe that a partnership model is the best way to commercialize this technology.”

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