[SystemSafety] Open Autonomous Safety concept = hope or idealism?

Peter Bernard Ladkin ladkin at causalis.com
Wed May 2 10:52:32 CEST 2018

On 2018-05-02 08:42 , Martin, BJ wrote:
> ..... Disturbingly enough there are no leading views
> from the folk who are in the industry or regulatory spaces. ISO26262 is only part of the answer and
> it’s not mandatory or universally used.

Industrial companies rarely want to be externally constrained, even though they know they will be.

I have the impression that regulatory structures are being improvised at the moment in the US. The
UK has some well-defined test areas with specific and substantial constraints on testing, for
example Milton Keynes. Germany is about to come up with testing principles and areas, as far as I

ISO 26262 is de facto mandatory in Europe. If your vehicle had an accident involving (partial)
automation and you couldn't show development in conformity with ISO 26262 then you'd really be in
the soup in most countries of which I am aware. AKAIK all German vehicle manufacturers develop in
conformity with ISO 26262.

You are right that it doesn't solve the big problems, because all the big problems involve DLNNs and
ISO 26262, like other safety-critical development standards, has nothing much to say about using DLNNs.

> I am sympathetic to the plight of the various jurisdictional authorities, and concerned that left to
> going it alone many unwise mis-steps will be taken along the way. They are being pressed all over
> the world by governments to ‘put up or shut up’ on regulating so that the potential societal and
> safety (reduced human error or risk exposure) benefits of these technologies can be accessed.

The German government convened an Ethics Commission, which reported in June 2017
https://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/DE/Publikationen/DG/bericht-der-ethik-kommission.pdf (in German).
They came up with 20 principles for autonomous and "networked" driving. It is relatively short to
read, but unfortunately there is no translation into English. I didn't know about it until last
week, when I attended the safe.tech conference put on by TÜV Süd in Munich, and a plenary talk was
given by a member, Auxiliary Bishop Anton Losinger of Würzburg.

It is worth looking at. Bishop Losinger did make one odd comment. He thinks the trolley problem has
been "solved" in Germany by Kantian ethics and the German Basic Law. He claims that inaction is the
solution. You may not intervene (unless it concerns saving yourself). I find it odd that he thinks
that follows from Kantian ethics (I don't see how). But even if it does, if such a "solution"
follows from Kantian ethics, that equally brings Kantian ethics into question. It is also worth
noting that the German Basic Law prohibits action, even damage/injury/death-minimising action, if
thereby someone dies who would not otherwise have done so (I don't know at the moment whether this
is self-applicable, but that would in any case be a moot point).

Whether or not one agrees with the principles, there is a set of them with solid-enough provenance
and they can be expected to guide German law on autonomous and highly-automated road vehicle
decision behaviour.

It was interesting to note at safe-tech that a number of speakers claimed that Germany was way ahead
of the US on both analysing and regulating autonomous-vehicle behaviour. One may expect regulation
to proceed via the principles of the Ethics Commission, and Werner Damm talked on Traffic Sequence
Charts, which he claimed was a formal way of describing traffic situations to be resolved. They are
like highly-annotated (bloated?) Message Sequence Charts. The annotations are differential
equations. One can certainly believe they are a formal way of describing such situations
(unfortunately, we didn't get to see many of the details) but a suggestion of resolving them seemed
to be the usual logical pie-in-the-sky (logical consequence in many of the logics devised for
computer science and engineering situations is not often a very practical property to determine).


Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Bielefeld, Germany
Je suis Charlie
Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319  www.rvs-bi.de

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 833 bytes
Desc: OpenPGP digital signature
URL: <https://lists.techfak.uni-bielefeld.de/mailman/private/systemsafety/attachments/20180502/9967fca5/attachment.sig>

More information about the systemsafety mailing list