MassRobotics recently hosted Eric Daimler, White House Presidential Innovation Fellow (Artificial Intelligence and Robotics), to get his perspective and insights on Automated Vehicles. Members of the New England Automated Vehicle Consortium include a select mix of influential policy makers, industry developers, academia and investors.  This group is spearheaded by Paul Schmitt, the MassRobotics Automated Vehicles Director.

The New England Automated Vehicle Consortium Mission: bring together academia, industry and policy makers to discuss and share the latest developments, work together to foster the local industry and to share perspectives and network within this rapidly changing area.

Several topics were touched upon during this initial gathering, ranging from public perception to public policy and safety & security, data sharing and testing to how to respond to the press.  Heavy focus was on safety and that perhaps data sharing and compiling could help increase the rate of adoption and aid insurance companies.  There was also an emphasis on the need for development and test sites and facilities for a variety of real world scenarios and edge cases – some of these test beds are currently available in other states. There was an overall consensus that there’s a great deal of opportunity for Massachusetts to dominate this market.  Strategic messaging and the need for consistency from the group when there were inquiries from the press would benefit the industry.

Additionally, Boston’s partnership with the World Economic Forum to launch a yearlong program to test automated vehicles was discussed by a representative from the mayor’s office.  The Consortium was identified as an excellent resource for this project.

This consortium will continue to meet quarterly and focus on particular topics of interest including development and test sites, safety, and consistent messaging.