The Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC) announced Dec. 10 the availability of its fifth published best practice titled, Best Practice for First Responder Interactions with Fleet-Managed Automated Driving System-Dedicated Vehicles (ADS-DVs). This best practice provides recommended procedures and protocols for Automated Driving System (ADS) developers to follow in order to facilitate safe and effective first responder interactions for a multitude of scenarios. It is intended for developers operating and managing fleets of ADS Dedicated Vehicles (ADS-DVs) – in other words – those with SAE International’s Levels 4 and 5 automation.
“Our nation’s first responders face countless challenging situations every day and we realize it’s impossible to develop specific protocols and practices for each and every one,” said Amy Chu, director of the AVSC. “However, we can provide clarity around the type of key interactions ADS developers can expect with first responders and provide some practical recommendations for developers to engage with the first responder community before deploying on public roads. This best practice is a proactive step to address these interactions and start to drive consistent engagement protocols within the ADS industry.”
The latest best practice builds on earlier work done by the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership and details three types of interactions that first responders may encounter with AVs: direct, indirect, and informational. In total, 36 recommendations are spelled out for ADS developers to include in a standardized framework which can assist first responders in both emergency and non-emergency situations.
“The common format included in this best practice will make it easier to communicate important information to first responders. The AVSC is recommending every ADS developer share a First Responder Interaction Plan. This guidance should help enable our first responders as they maintain order and public safety on our roadways and ultimately engender public trust in AVs," added Chu.
The first responder interaction plan framework consists of three aspects that help contribute to safe interactions. This framework guides AV developers to build their own interaction plan, publish and maintain the plan, and ensure proper training is available. In addition, state and local governments can use this framework as a reference when engaging developers and manufacturers operating on public roadways.