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Editor's Message

Editorial Vice President of Communications and Publications, Editor Brett Davis Managing Editor Danielle Lucey

Contributing Writers Paul Godsmark Gabriel Sniman David A. McNamara Mohammad Poorsartep Advertising Senior Advertising and Marketing Manager Lisa Fick +1 571 255 7779

A publication of

Driverless Cars Gaining Traction


elf-driving cars is a special topic for Mission Critical magazine. Now in its third year of covering commercial robotics topics, Mission Critical’s very first issue tackled the emerging field of driverless vehicles. Now, more than two years after that, the industry has seen a slew of commercial automobile manufacturers pledge driverless cars in the next 10 years. This magazine takes a look at where we are now with driverless vehicles. Editor Brett Davis dives into the military world, where the technology got its start on unmanned ground vehicles. Many of these technologies have come a long way since their infancy. To read more on that, see Page 8. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Paul Godsmark and Gabriel Sniman from surveyed the commercial landscape of self-driving vehicles. Automotive companies are revving their engines, gearing up to be the first with an autonomous vehicle on the road. See that story on Page 18. In preparation for AUVSI’s Detroitbased Driverless Car Summit in June, this issue discusses two Michigan-centric projects aimed at furthering selfdriving cars.

President and CEO Michael Toscano Executive Vice President Gretchen West AUVSI Headquarters 2700 South Quincy Street, Suite 400 Arlington, VA 22206 USA +1 703 845 9671

The first is Michigan’s Connected Vehicle Test Bed, where companies like SAIC are performing a large-scale field test of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicleto-infrastructure technology so they may one day be nationally adopted. The second is the newly formed Fleet Automation Forum. This group, originally conceptualized within the U.S. Army, is assessing how driverless vehicles will affect commercial trucking. AUVSI and the University of Michigan are supporting this effort that aims to accelerate technology commercialization.

Danielle Lucey

Just how will legislators, regulators and private insurers keep up with this increased energy in the self-driving car market? Mission Critical addresses those issues throughout its departments. Uncanny Valley, on Page 12, reviews the many laws and legislative approaches states are taking to ensure they have a future closely tied to driverless technology. On Page 13, we take a look at Southwest Research Institute, a company that is focusing on low-cost technology to enable consumers to one day purchase driverless vehicles. The company is taking lessons it learned from a Navy program with a similar focus and translating that to the commercial market. Our Q&A on Page 14 is with Tom Bamonte, general counsel for the North Texas Tollway Authority. He has a unique legal perspective on how cities can prepare for self-driving cars, including simple changes to basic infrastructure and how to properly manage data from these vehicles. Guy Fraker, a technology consultant and former insurance agent, discusses the difficulties of insuring driverless cars. How will an industry used to having lots of crash data set prices for cars intent on not crashing? He explains challenges like this one on Page 27. I hope you enjoy reading all the new information in this issue. Perhaps the next time we visit the topic of driverless cars, there will be a few being tested on a roadway near you. MISSION CRITICAL

May 2013


Mission Critical: Self-Driving Cars  

Mission Critical: Self-Driving Cars features the latest news from the driverless car comunity.

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