[SystemSafety] Interesting new publication about safety for autonomous vehicles

paul_e.bennett at topmail.co.uk paul_e.bennett at topmail.co.uk
Tue Jul 9 14:47:40 CEST 2019

On 09/07/2019 at 1:20 PM, "Thierry Coq" <Thierry.Coq at dnvgl.com> wrote:
>Hi all,
>Reading the paper, I wonder if the requirement "as safe as the 
>average driver" is good enough.
>In usual functional safety systems, humans may claim 0.1 reduction 
>of risk where safety-related actions are needed. On the other 
>hand, SIL1 starts at this 0.1 reduction and SIL4 is at 0.0001 
>reduction of risk.
>In other words, I would expect the community to develop automated 
>systems that are much safer than the average driver, more safe 
>than 99,99% of drivers, myself included, and not more safe that 
>50% of the drivers. Or it could be that the system of systems 
>(human+automated systems) could achieve that rate of risk 
>reduction, but not the automated systems on their own. In the same 
>topic, there is the question of "giving back control to the human 
>driver with enough time to take action". What would be that time? 
>Some research seems to indicate that this time should be many 
>seconds long, especially if the human driver needs to acquire 
>situational awareness (ie taking his/her eyes off the movie been 
>played on the screen)...
>What do you think?
>Best regards,

Something that always seems to be missed for those discussing the autonomy
of systems that replace human actors, is the fact that the sensing systems that
will need to be depended upon become far more important. The 737MAX
incidents glaringly showed us that.

An autonomous vehicle will either need a constrained environment or will have to
be developed to the highest levels of integrity for all of its sub-systems active in
the control of the vehicle, Including the sensors being able to indicate they are
either healthy and functioning normally, or through a raft of cross-checking

It is obvious, for such vehicles, that software will play a major role in ensuring that
safety is properly addressed, with the inherent need for keeping the core of the
vehicle control secure from outside attacks.

It is certainly a daunting task that I am not sure any of the vehicle manufacturers
concerned have taken seriously enough yet.


Paul E. Bennett IEng MIET
Systems Engineer
Lunar Mission One Ambassador
Paul E. Bennett IEng MIET.....
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