WEF Autonomous Vehicle Governance Ecosystem

World Economic Forum Safe Drive Initiative – The Autonomous Vehicle Governance Ecosystem: A Guide for Decision Makers

Original Report, World Economic Forum, April 6, 2021

The conventional automotive industry is a mature, highly regulated, consolidated global business
environment, which was conventionally accustomed to lengthy processes of product development
and engineering developed and refined through the 20th century. However, with the advent of
connectivity, electrification, automated driving and shared mobility, these titans of industry have been
forced to become agile, fast-moving organizations as driven by the race to deliver the connected,
autonomous vehicles (AVs) of the future.

The automotive industry, being so established, has developed alongside a substantial ecosystem of
technical bodies to develop international, regional and national standards to enable conformity, safety
and harmonization of engineering efforts across markets. With the AV sector emerging so rapidly, the
international standards bodies’ lengthy process of standards development is being tested as industry
and policy-makers consider their future needs for assessing the safety of automated vehicles.
This has given rise to a rapidly growing ecosystem of industry alliances and consortia, as industry
stakeholders come together to co-create guidance, technical solutions and other tools in the absence
of suitable standards – although many of these activities are intended to precede and evolve
into technical standards themselves, or provide supplementary technical knowledge to accompany

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