RISE 2017, HONG KONG: Participants in a panel session named “Nothing to Fear in the Connected World?” agreed the rise of the connected car is creating a need for a common framework for vehicles to communicate, but noted a global standard is a huge challenge.
Malavika Jayaram, executive director of privacy at think-tank Digital Asia Hub (pictured, centre), said interoperability will require some kind of framework, if not at a global level, at least in some kind of standard way.
“The second you have different standards in different cars on the same streets in the same city, which need to communicate with each other, it requires some kind of interface or protocol that will apply to all car brands,” she said.
Asked if it’s realistic to expect governments to establish some kind of body which will set a global standard, Torbjorn Holmstrom, senior adviser on research and technology for Swedish automaker Volvo (pictured, left), noted emissions are not globally standardised – different countries have different levels and measure in different ways.
“Unfortunately, I don’t foresee a complete standard for how to communicate between vehicles and the infrastructure and vehicles and individuals. That will be an issue for us going forward because there are so many good things than can be done with the new technology, but at the same time there is a risk because you share so much data,” he explained.
The technology is a little bit ahead compared to the legal framework, Holmstrom said. The US and EU are already thinking about the legal implications of self-driving cars and what are the necessary conditions in terms of automation and connectivity.
Jayaram said vendors across the self-driving car ecosystem are pushing governments not to over regulate so they don’t stifle innovation.
“Given the safety involved it will be legally difficult for them not to intervene in some way. Even if you want light-touch regulation, it might be guidelines, best practices and ethical frameworks, rather than laws and regulation,” she said.
Another huge issue is how will autonomous vehicles cope while there are still human drivers, who Holmstrom said never follow the rules completely, while autonomous vehicles would.
Jayaram pointed out that we’re finding, even with self-driving cars, things usually go wrong when there is human intervention.