It is common for automotive insiders to describe the development of Level 5 autonomous vehicles (AVs) as a ‘race’. That is understandable; in theory, the sooner AVs arrive on roads, the better for safety. And there is a sense throughout this segment that AV development is a zero-sum game: the spoils will go to the player that manages to get to Level 5 first, with the rest left to pick up the pieces. But this also comes with a risk. Is the industry prioritising speed over safety? And is it even accurate to describe this trend as a race?