Framework for safe automated driving systems published

Emphasising safety by design, 11 industry leaders across the automotive and automated driving technology spectrum today published “Safety First for Automated Driving,” (SaFAD), a non-binding organised framework for the development, testing and validation of safe automated passenger vehicles.

These 11 leaders — Aptiv, Audi, Baidu, BMW, Continental, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, HERE, Infineon, Intel and Volkswagen — comprise the broadest representation across the industry and have published, to date, the largest report on how to build, test and operate a safe automated vehicle.

The SaFAD white paper authors’ purpose is to emphasize the importance of safety by design, along with verification and validation, as the industry works toward creating standards for automated driving.

Automated driving will improve performance in most situations compared to that of human drivers. However, it will not completely eliminate the risk of accidents or crashes. The goal of the whitepaper – based around 12 Guiding Principles – is to present a generic approach for tackling the risks introduced by automated vehicles. Some of the principles include:

  • Safe layer: The automated driving system shall recognise system limits, especially those that do not allow the safe transition of control to the vehicle operator, and react to minimize the risk
  • Safety assessment: Verification and validation shall be used to ensure that the safety goals are met so as to reach a consistent improvement of the overall safety
  • Data recording: Automated vehicles shall record the relevant data pertaining to the status of the automated driving system when an event or incident is recognised in manner that complies with the applicable data privacy laws

For the first time, SaFAD offers automated vehicle (AV) developers and operators a system for clear traceability that proves AVs to be “safer than the average driver” through components such as cameras or steering systems.

It is also the first time presenting a summary of widely known safety-by-design and verification and validation methods of Level 3 and Level 4 automated driving as defined by the SAE (J3016).

The foundation of the SaFAD white paper is its 12 Guiding Principles, which are further refined into capabilities of the automated vehicle, from which safe-by-design elements are derived to support the capability and achieve the guiding principles. “Safety First for Automated Driving” combines the expertise from key companies in the automaker, supplier and technology industries to help direct development of safe automated vehicles.

Interest in and development of automated driving technology has grown at a dramatic rate over the past several years, fueled by the goal of reducing fatalities related to vehicle crashes, improvement of traffic flow and the introduction of new mobility concepts. This rapid growth brings a wide range of development methodologies from established companies and the growing roster of new enterprises.

With publication of “Safety First for Automated Driving,” authors and experts from each of the participating partners will present the group’s work at industry and technology conferences internationally over the next several months.

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