Posts

Showing posts from September, 2018

Automotive Safety Practices vs. Accepted Principles (SAFECOMP paper)

Image
I'm presenting this paper at SAFECOMP this today 2018 SAFECOMP Paper Preprint Abstract. This paper documents the state of automotive computer-based system safety practices based on experiences with unintended acceleration litigation spanning multiple vehicle makers. There is a wide gulf between some observed automotive practices and established principles for safety critical system engineering. While some companies strive to do better, at least some car makers in the 2002-2010 era took a test-centric approach to safety that discounted nonreproducible and “unrealistic” faults, instead blaming driver error for mishaps. Regulators still follow policies from the pre-software safety assurance era. Eight general areas of contrast between accepted safety principles and observed automotive safety practices are identified. While the advent of ISO 26262 promises some progress, deployment of highly autonomous vehicles in a nonregulatory environment threatens to undermine safety engineeri

Victoria Australia Is Winning the Race to ADS Testing Safety Regulations

Victoria Australia has just  issued new guidelines regarding Automated Driving System (ADS) testing .  These should be required reading for anyone doing on-road testing elsewhere in the world. There is just too much good stuff here to miss.  And, the guidelines are accompanied by actual laws that are designed to make autonomy testing safe. A look through the regulations and guidelines shows that there is a lot to like. The most intriguing points I noticed were: It provides essentially unlimited technical flexibility to the companies building the ADS vehicles while still providing a way to ensure safety. The approach is a simple two-parter: The testing permit holders have to explain why they will be safe via a safety management plan. If the vehicle testing doesn't follow the safety management plan or acts unsafely on the roads, the testing permit can be revoked. The permit holder rather than the vehicle supervisor (a.k.a. "safety driver" in the US) is liable whe