Dear Readers,

The 21st century is witnessing a principal change in transport systems prompted by emerging transformative vehicle technologies. The paradigm shift is occurring for all media of vehicle operation—ground, air, space, and water. For virtually all vehicle applications, autonomy, connectivity, electrification, and intelligent mobility are becoming the dominant cores of research and engineering. We are all observing, and many of you are contributing to, the new technological paradigm shift to autonomous vehicles and autonomous vehicle systems through interdisciplinary convergence of applied technical, natural, social sciences, and engineering.

The demand for a publication on emerging autonomous vehicle research and engineering has resulted in the establishment of this new ASME Journal focusing on both transformative research and engineering design. I now have the great honor of introducing the ASME Journal of Autonomous Vehicles and Systems (JAVS), sponsored by the ASME Design Engineering Division (DED), and the ASME Dynamic Systems and Control Division (DSCD).

JAVS will provide an international platform for the communication and discussion of technical knowledge and solutions in the transformative areas of the research and engineering design of autonomous vehicles and systems that operate in all media and inter-medium environments: ground, air, space, and water. The journal will focus on autonomous vehicle system-of-systems approach to modeling, simulation, design, and physical and virtual testing. The vehicle applications include, but are not limited to, personal and cargo transportation, construction and forestry, farming, scientific research, investigation of the underground, air and water, exploration of other planets, infrastructure monitoring, surveillance and military, etc.

To bring JAVS from its conception to this Inaugural Issue has become possible due to strong dedication and work of ASME Publishing—Mary Grace Stefanchik, Director, ASME Publications Development and Colin McAteer, ASME Publishing Operations. I am grateful to Beth Darchi, Publishing Administrator, and the ASME Marketing and Publishing team—Michael Wadman, Erica Hodge, Tamiko Fung, Kai Purnell, Lauren Murrah, and other ASME Staff Members. Much help and support came from Philip DiVietro, Managing Director.

The DED and DSCD Executive Committees, headed by Jeff Ge and Robert Landers, and the ASME Technical Committee on Publications and Communications, directed by Jane Davidson, have been extremely instrumental and supportive at all phases of the JAVS proposal consideration and approval, as well as during the search, consideration, and approval of Associate Editors.

The focus on both research and design of autonomous vehicles and systems requires a set of Associate Editors (AEs) from academia, industry, and research agencies. Readers can see a dedicated team of AEs who represent various technical areas of autonomous vehicles and systems. Together with reviewers, AEs have made it possible to send this Inaugural Issue to you. The AE list is still open for those of you who wish to serve the profession—and the journal.

Lastly, I would like to express my gratitude to the authors for their tremendous contributions to the Inaugural Issue. The offering of your collaboration on the Inaugural Issue is enormously important for the effective start of JAVS and bringing the journal to its success. I hope that readers will follow with submitting their research findings to JAVS and, thus, will bring JAVS to its worthy place among the top engineering publications in the world.