Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) in Europe logo 2022

Tara Andringa, Executive Director of Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) talks self-driving surveys, international expansion and more

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Meet the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) in Europe

Of the 100+ features I’ve done for Cars of the Future, the one I find myself quoting most is last summer’s Letters from America: Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE). In particular, the evidence that live self-driving vehicle demonstration events are highly effective in boosting public trust.

The organisation with a mission to “inform the public about automated vehicles” is expanding fast – launching PAVE Canada in February and now, PAVE Europe.

Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) in Europe

On 17 March 2022, at the Autonomy Paris sustainable mobility conference, PAVE Europe announced six “Founding Members”, and a very prestigious bunch they are too. In alphabetical order: financial services provider, Achmea; autonomous vehicle technology specialists, EasyMile and Mobileye; the world’s largest reinsurer, Swiss Re; Cologne-based safety tester TÜV Rheinland; and the company born of Google’s self-driving car project, Waymo.

From a UK perspective, we note the involvement of Lukas Nekermann, MD of London-based Neckermann Strategic Advisors and author of the influential 2015 book, The Mobility Revolution. Both he and Frederic John, who together co-authored 2020’s Being Driven, are credited as the “co-initiators” of PAVE Europe.

We caught up with Tara Andringa, Executive Director of PAVE, to find out more.

Tara Andringa, Executive Director of Partners for Automated Vehicle Education
Tara Andringa, Executive Director of Partners for Automated Vehicle Education

TA: “We’ve achieved a lot since your last article – made progress on projects we spoke about and launched some brand new ones too.

“Our weekly virtual panels, which began during Covid, have continued to go extremely well. We thought there might be some Zoom fatigue once people got back to work, but in fact they’ve gotten more popular. We’ve had more than 16,000 people register for the panels live, and we have had an additional 20,000 views on YouTube.

“The virtual panels are a great way to spread the conversation about AVs and in January we won a prestigious award for them – a National Communications Award for Outstanding Public Education at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) conference in Washington.

Partners for Automated Vehicle Education at the TRB conference 2021
Partners for Automated Vehicle Education at the TRB conference 2021
Automated Vehicle Survey

“Another major success last fall was our survey work. We put together a powerhouse group with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and JD Power to track longitudinally how views change over time. We released the first results in November and we’re going to make it an annual thing.”

The headline result in 2021 was that only 37% of respondents correctly identified the description of a fully automated self-driving vehicle (according to SAE International’s definition) from seven possibilities. 55% of respondents selected descriptions aligned with driver assistance technology.

The results led Lisa Boor, senior manager of global automotive at J.D. Power, to quote the robot from Lost In Space, describing “a ‘Danger, Will Robinson’ moment for the fully automated self-driving vehicle industry”, with “a significant gap between actual and perceived AV knowledge.” 

TA: “Another thing we mentioned last time was our public sector workshop with the state of Ohio. We’ve tried to really build out that program, working a lot on state engagement here in the United States. We help to educate public sector officials, to give them the information they need to make choices for their communities and educate their constituencies.”

Which brings us to your international expansion.

TA: “Yes. We’ve realised that, while every government is taking a different regulatory approach, the public confusion and misperceptions are a global phenomenon. So, we’ve decided to expand PAVE’s mission elsewhere, so each country or continent will have its own chapter or sister organisation.

“Public sector engagement is such an important part of this. Each government is looking at different policy options, but this is a global industry.  Our new Canadian and European members will be able to network with our US members, to collaborate, but also do their own thing, run their own events tailored to local needs.”

For more on PAVE Europe visit

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Author: Neil Kennett

Neil is MD of Featurebank Ltd. He launched in 2019.