Showing posts from April, 2019

Human Test Scenario Bias in Autonomous Vehicle Validation

Human Test Scenario Bias: Machine Learning perceives the world differently than you do. That means your intuition is not necessarily a good source for test planning. Simulation-based testing (including especially closed-course testing of real vehicles) can suffer from a test planning bias. The problem is that a test plan is often made according to human perception of the scenario being tested. For example, a test scenario might be “child crossing in a painted cross-walk.” Details of the test scenario might explore various corner cases involving child clothing, size, weather conditions, scene clutter, and so on. Commonly test scenarios map to a human-interpretable taxonomy of the system and environmental state space. However, autonomy systems might have a different internal state space representation than humans, meaning that they classify the world in ways that differ from how humans do so. This in turn can lead to a situation in which a human believes apparent complete cover

Safety Argument Consideration for Public Road Testing of Autonomous Vehicles

Beth Osyk and I are presenting our paper at SAE WCX today on how to argue sufficient road test safety for self-driving car technology. See below slideshare or follow this link for presentation slides . Preprint of paper here: Abstract: Autonomous vehicle (AV) developers test extensively on public roads, potentially putting other road users at risk. A safety case for human supervision of road testing could improve safety transparency. A credible safety case should include: (1) the supervisor must be alert and able to respond to an autonomy failure in a timely manner, (2) the supervisor must adequately manage autonomy failures, and (3) the autonomy failure profile must be compatible with effective human supervision.\ Human supervisors and autonomous test vehicles form a combined human-autonomy system, with the total rate of observed failures including the product of the autonomy failure rate and the

Nondeterministic Behavior and Legibility in Autonomous Vehicle Validation

Nondeterministic Behavior and Legibility: How do you know your autonomous vehicle passed the test for the right reason? What if it just got lucky, or is gaming the test? The nature of the algorithms used by autonomy systems creates problems for modelling and testing that go beyond typical safety critical software. Some autonomy algorithms, such as randomized path planning, are inherently non-deterministic. Others can be brittle, failing dramatically with subtle variations in data, such as perception false negatives induced by adversarial attacks (Szegedy at al. 2013) or false negatives induced by slight image degradation due to haze or defocus (Pezzementi et al. 2018). A related issue is over-fitting to the test, in which an autonomy system over-fits and learns how to beat a fixed test. By analogy, this is the pitfall of the system cheating by having memorized the correct answers. A proposed way to deal with this risk is by randomly varying aspects of test cases.  In such