Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The UL 4600 Guidebook

The UL 4600 Guidebook:
What to Include in an Autonomous Vehicle Safety Case

Book cover

ANSI/UL 4600 is the most comprehensive standard for highly automated vehicle safety, applying to any vehicle in which a human driver can take their eyes off the road. It provides a way to check the completeness and correctness of a safety case that spans a broad range of concerns related to safety, including design, deployment, and lifecycle support. There is a special emphasis on computer hardware and software, as well as operational concepts and interaction with other road users. While other relevant standards can and should be used as well, UL 4600 provides an umbrella to make sure things don’t get missed for assuring safety.

This book, written by the author of the original UL 4600 standard proposal, serves as a high-level guided tour. Early chapters provide historical context, a description of the distinctive UL 4600 prompt element approach, a discussion of key terms, and how a safety case works in the context of the standard. Then comes a chapter-by-chapter tour of UL 4600, explaining overall concepts and how all the pieces fit together for each area covered by the standard, from safety cases to hazard analysis to assessment. This book will help technical readers prepare for diving into the nitty gritty of the standard, as well as provide a more accessible discussion for those who want to understand what UL 4600 covers at a higher level. The last chapter provides pointers to further information, including how you can view the current version of UL 4600 for free.

This is a comparatively short (about 100 pages of main content) trade paperback (6"x9") discussion of a much longer, fairly complex standard. So think of it as a tour guidebook and not a textbook.

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

eBook available from Smashwords:

Available from Barnes & Noble and some US and UK book distributors:

Media coverage and bonus content:


  1. Introduction
  2. Overview and applicability of UL 4600
  3. Requirements and prompt elements
  4. Terminology
  5. The safety case
  6. Hazards and risks
  7. Interaction with people and road users
  8. Autonomy functions and support
  9. Software & system engineering process
  10. Dependability
  11. Data and networking
  12. Verification, validation, and test
  13. Tools, COTS, and legacy qualification
  14. Lifecycle concerns
  15. Maintenance
  16. Safety Performance Indicators
  17. Assessment
  18. Wrap-up
138 pages.

Koopman, P., The UL 4600 Guidebook: What to Includes in an Autonomous Vehicle Safety Case, November 2022.
ISBN: 9798365303065  Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9798365303249  Hardcover   (available only in marketplaces supported by Amazon)
ASIN: B0BNLVC22J  Kindle ebook

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-January 2023. 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.

Your local bookstore should also be able to order it through their US or UK distributor. starting in mid-January.

If you are not in a listed country:
  • For printed books you can probably order it from a nearby country for international shipment.
  • For Kindle ebook what matters is what country your kindle is registered for, which is not necessarily your physical location.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)  / Updated; originally posted Nov. 30, 2022.

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