Safe Transportation

A goal of any society is to ensure its citizens are afforded the opportunity to use transportation systems that are safe to both the operator and those who interact with the vehicle. This pertains not only to vehicles but also the interaction of the vehicles with the infrastructures built to accommodate and serve the vehicles (automobiles, trucks, off-road vehicles, personal watercraft, aircraft or spacecraft).

Issues in the government relations arena related to safe transportation include:

  • Distracted Driving or Operation of Vehicles
    This topic is a major focus within the Department of Transportation (DoT) as well as the majority of state and local government-transportation bodies. SAE shares the concern for the need to reduce the distractions experienced by operators of all types of vehicles in order to save lives and avoid serious injuries to our citizens. SAE believes current and future technologies are the key to success in this area. SAE has and continues to work with the various safety-focused agencies to develop consensus standards that define the parameters and measures that can be used by industry in solutions and governments to reference in required regulations. In addition, SAE has the unique capability of leveraging its experiences with the aerospace, automotive and commercial vehicle sectors to cross-pollinate potential solutions utilized by the other sectors. (DoT)

  • Integration of Electronic Systems into Vehicle Control
    Implementation of crash-avoidance technologies is a key to reducing vehicle-traffic injuries and fatalities. Electronics is the enabler that permits the safe implementation of various technologies such as stability control, lane-departure warning, forward-crash warning, adaptive cruise control, etc., as well as the entire "Connected Vehicle" concept, which includes Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) technologies. SAE's wealth of knowledge and existing and/or developing standards in this area should be used by both industry and government agencies to assist in the adoption of these life-saving advances and the necessary regulations to ensure proper and cost-effective designs. However, care must be taken by all interested parties not to minimize that the ultimate responsibility for the safe operation of vehicles is that of the driver/operator and that any system used is to aid the driver in making smart, informed decisions. (DoT)

  • Impaired Operation of Vehicles
    Research on the impaired operation of vehicles is being conducted to determine the parameters of the challenges that will need to be addressed to develop systems, which will reduce the single largest cause of injuries and fatalities by driver-induced actions. SAE applauds the efforts of the DoT, manufacturers and the insurance industry. SAE is in the process of forming standards committees, which will be ready to collaborate with all parties to develop the necessary standards to ensure safe implementation of solutions when they are market-ready and viable. SAE can also conduct cooperative research on various challenges that will be identified via its extensive network of knowledge experts available to the Society. (DoT)

  • Counterfeit Parts Effect on Vehicle Safety
    The number of counterfeit electronic and other parts entering the vehicle-supply chain has risen dramatically in the last decade, particularly from Asia. SAE is working closely with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Department of Defense (DoD), United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (U.K. MoD), vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and parts suppliers to help mitigate this problem. At the core of the solution set is a suite of standards that lays out clear direction on how to establish counterfeit parts control plans for OEMs, distributors, test labs and conformity-assessment organizations. These standards are closely harmonized with draft policy under consideration by the DoD and the White House. SAE has developed the multi-phase Wheel Conformance Program to assist in increasing the safety of light-duty wheels offered in the automotive sector. (DoD, DoT, NASA, U.K. MoD)

  • Air-Traffic Control Modernization for Greater Safety and Efficiency
    Air-traffic control procedures used globally are largely based on ground-radar stations and voice-over-radio procedures, which were developed fifty+ years ago. Although this system has produced a stellar safety record, it does not allow for the most fuel-efficient use of aircraft. Neither does it allow for the rapid growth of air traffic expected over the coming decades. Newer satellite-based systems, such as Next-Gen (U.S.) and the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR - Europe), promise tremendous improvements in fuel-efficiency and capacity growth. SAE works closely with aviation regulators at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to provide support with technical standards and training programs as these new systems mature. (FAA, EASA, ICAO)

  • Pedestrian Safety
    The increasing use of hybrid and electric vehicles has resulted in consumer groups, vehicle manufacturers and government agencies collaborating to identify viable systems and technologies that could be implemented to enhance the safety of vehicle/pedestrian interactions. SAE has worked with these groups to develop standards that provide for the measurement of noise levels, which can be used to define boundary conditions. SAE believes it is in all the involved parties' interest to develop a national performance-based solution that will enable systems that meet the safety needs of the pedestrians and give them consistent, reliable feedback from the vehicle. Locally regulated actions would expose pedestrians to a potentially vast number of confusing and conflicting "solutions." (DoT, National Traffic Safety Board [NTSB])