The self-driving car industry is abandoning the term ‘self-driving’ and leaving it to Tesla

So far, self-driving coalition for safer streets; hello, Association of Autonomous Vehicles Industry!

The main AV industry lobby group in Washington, DC is changing its brand name and dropping the reference to “self-driving” in exchange for a more straightforward name. Founded in 2016 by Waymo, Ford, Lyft, Uber and Volvo, the group lobbies lawmakers to pass legislation beneficial to its members. Since then, it has grown into the top AV operators in the country, including Cruise, Aurora, Argo AI, Motional, Nuro, and Zoox.

Tesla is selling a feature called “Full Self-Driving,” a beta version of an advanced driver assistance system that controls some of the car’s functions on local roads, but still requires human supervision. Self-driving vehicles, on the other hand, are cars that can drive on public roads without human intervention or supervision.

While not making reference to Tesla in its announcement, the lobby group says the new name better reflects its members’ “commitment to precision and consistency in how industry, policymakers, journalists and the public are talking about autonomous driving.” The group continues:

The association recently called on all stakeholders to make a clear distinction between AVs and driver-assist to increase consumer trust and understanding. AVIA advocates autonomous vehicles that perform the entire driving task. AVs don’t need human operators even to serve as a backup driver; the people or packages in the vehicle are only passengers or cargo.

A year ago, Waymo announced it would stop using the term “self-driving cars” to describe its fleet in an effort to use “more purposeful language” in its marketing, educational and promotional materials. The company quoted “some automakers” as “using the term ‘self-driving’ in an inaccurate manner,” which could lead to confusion and possible crashes.

Years ago, Waymo considered developing an advanced driver assistance system, such as Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” version of Autopilot, but ultimately decided against it, having become “alarmed” by the negative effects on the driver. Drivers would swerve or fall asleep at the wheel.

There are increasingly pressing calls to standardize the language used to describe autonomous driving. Ford favors standardized visual cues that autonomous vehicles can use to communicate their intentions to pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers.

Meanwhile, critics continue to attack the five levels of automation, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers, the global standard for self-driving cars, for being too broad and potentially dangerous. Most experts agree: we need a better, more unified way to talk about autonomous vehicles.

Federal regulators agree. In a recent interview with The edge, US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg made comments about any company using misleading language to describe driver assistance features.

“I’ll keep saying this until I’m blue in the face: Everything on the market today that you can buy is driver assistance technology, not driver replacement technology,” Buttigieg said. ‘I don’t care what it’s called. We need to make sure we’re crystal clear about that – even if companies aren’t.”

Initially, some people in the AV industry were skeptical that Waymo was making the right move. According to TechCrunch, there were concerns about what it would mean to relinquish the term “self-driving” to Tesla. Some AV company CEOs are resisting the idea of ​​moving away from the term and continuing to educate the public about the differences between their vehicles and vehicles with Level 2 driver assistance systems.

But now that the lobby group that includes virtually all AV operators in the US as members has dropped the term, it seems those fears have now become a reality. But what happens if Tesla decides to release a product called “Fully Autonomous”?

Frank Broholm had acquired considerable experience in writing and editing publications before recruited by The Media Today Chronicle News portal as Editorial Manager. His key task is to conduct effective business reviews based on the most recent business…