Sunday, November 13, 2022

Book: How Safe is Safe Enough? Measuring and Predicting Autonomous Vehicle Safety

How Safe Is Safe Enough for Autonomous Vehicles? 
The Book

The most pressing question regarding autonomous vehicles is: will they be safe enough? The usual metric of "at least as safe as a human driver" is more complex than it might seem. Which human driver, under what conditions? And are fewer total fatalities OK even if it means more pedestrians die? Who gets to decide what safe enough really means when billions of dollars are on the line? And how will anyone really know the outcome will be as safe as it needs to be when the technology initially deploys without a safety driver?

This book is written by an internationally known expert with more than 25 years of experience in self-driving car safety. It covers terminology, autonomous vehicle (AV) safety challenges, risk acceptance frameworks, what people mean by "safe," setting an acceptable safety goal, measuring safety, safety cases, safety performance indicators, deciding when to deploy, and ethical AV deployment. The emphasis is not on how to build machine learning based systems, but rather on how to measure whether the result will be acceptably safe for real-world deployment. Written for engineers, policy stakeholders, and technology enthusiasts, this book tells you how to figure out what "safe enough" really means, and provides a framework for knowing that an autonomous vehicle is ready to deploy safely.

Currently available for purchase from Amazon, with international distribution via their print-on-demand network. (See country-specific distribution list below.)

See bottom of this post for e-book information, from sources other than Amazon, as well as other distributors for the printed book.

Media coverage and bonus content:


  1. Introduction
  2. Terminology and challenges
  3. Risk Acceptance Frameworks
  4. What people mean by "safe"
  5. Setting an acceptable safety goal
  6. Measuring safety
  7. Safety cases
  8. Applying SPIs in practice
  9. Deciding when to deploy
  10. Ethical AV deployment
  11. Conclusions
368 pages.
635 footnotes.
On-line clickable link list for the footnotes here:

Koopman, P., How Safe Is Safe Enough? Measuring and Predicting Autonomous Vehicle Safety, September 2022.
ISBN: 9798846251243 Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9798848273397 Hardcover   (available only in marketplaces supported by Amazon)

Also see my other recent book: The UL 4600 Guidebook

For those asking about distribution -- it is served by the Amazon publishing network. Expanded distribution is selected, so other distributors might pick it up in 6-8 weeks to serve additional countries (e.g., India) or non-Amazon booksellers, especially in US and UK. How that goes is beyond my control, but in principle a bookstore anywhere should be able to order it by about mid-November 2022. Alternately, you can order it direct from Amazon in the closest one of these countries for international delivery: US, UK, DE, FR, ES, IT, NL, PL, SE, JP, CA, AU.

You can also buy it from some Amazon country web sites via distributors. A notable example is:

Your local bookstore should also be able to order it through their US or UK distributor.

E-book available from distributors as they pick it up over time: 

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)  / Updated; originally posted Sept 3, 2022.

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