Showing posts from April, 2018

Slides from US-China Transportation Forum Presentation

On Thursday I had the honor to presenting to two Secretaries of Transportation at the 2018 U.S.-China Transportation Forum in Beijing China.  (US Secretary Chao and China Secretary Yang were in the front row -- as well as a huge room full of US and China delegates.)  It was a really interesting experience, and I truly appreciate the support and hospitality shown by the organizers and both governments.  It's not often that a hard-core techie gets face time with cabinet members! I was the US Autonomous Vehicle technical expert in one of two technology sessions.  My topic was safe autonomous vehicle testing safety.   I gave the short version of my PA AV Summit talk .  The slides are here for anyone who is interested in seeing how I tried to boil that message down to a 10 minute slot (with simultaneous translation to Chinese). US-China Transportation Forum Slides April 2018 from Philip Koopman

Toward a framework for Highly Automated Vehicle Safety Validation

I'm presenting a paper on AV safety validation at the 2018 SAE World Congress.  Here's the unofficial version of the presentation and a preprint of the paper. Toward a Framework for Highly Automated Vehicle Safety Validation Philip Koopman & Michael Wagner 2018 SAE World Congress / SAE 2018-01-1071 Abstract: Validating the safety of Highly Automated Vehicles (HAVs) is a significant autonomy challenge. HAV safety validation strategies based solely on brute force on-road testing campaigns are unlikely to be viable. While simulations and exercising edge case scenarios can help reduce validation cost, those techniques alone are unlikely to provide a sufficient level of assurance for full-scale deployment without adopting a more nuanced view of validation data collection and safety analysis. Validation approaches can be improved by using higher fidelity testing to explicitly validate the assumptions and simplifications of lower fidelity testing rather than just obtaining

Ensuring The Safety of On-Road Self-Driving Car Testing (PA AV Summit Talk Slides)

This is the slide version of my op-ed on how to make self-driving car testing safe. The take-away is create a test vehicle with a written safety case that addresses these topics: Show that the safety driver is paying adequate attention Show that the safety driver has time to react if needed Show that AV disengagement/safing actually works when things go wrong (An abbreviated version was also presented in April 2018 at the US-China Transportation Forum in Beijing China.) Ensuring The Safety of On-Road Self-Driving Car Testing (PA AV Summit Talk Slides) from Philip Koopman

What can we learn from the UK guidelines on self-driving car testing?

The UK already has a pretty good answer for how to do self-driving car testing safely. US stakeholders could learn something from it. You can see the document for yourself at: As industry and various governmental organizations decide what to do in response to the tragic Tempe Arizona pedestrian accident, it's worth looking abroad to see what others have done.  As it turns out, the UK Department for Transport issued a 14 page document in July 2015: "The Pathway to Driverless Cars: A Code of Practice for testing."   It covers test drivers, vehicle equipment, licensing, insurance, data recording, and more. So far so good, and kudos for specifically addressing the topic of test platform safety that long ago! As I'd expect from a UK safety document, there is a lot to like.  I'm not going to try to summarize it all, but here ar

A Way Forward for Safe Self-Driving Car Road Testing

The self-driving car industry's reputation has suffered a setback, but the resulting debate about whether autonomy is safe for road use is focused on solving the wrong problem. Dashcam image from mishap released by Tempe AZ Police The recent tragic fatality in Arizona in which a pedestrian was hit and killed by a self-driving car test vehicle has sent a shock wave through the industry. At least some companies have shut down their road testing while they see how things develop. Uber just had its Arizona road testing permission revoked, and apparently is not going to be testing in California any time soon. The longer term effects on public enthusiasm for the technology overall remain unclear. Proponents of self-driving car testing point out that human drivers are far from perfect, and compare the one life lost to the many lives lost every day in conventional vehicle crashes. Opponents say that potentially avoidable fatalities due to immature technology are unacce