RAND Report Offers Framework for Measuring Automated Vehicle Safety

The report defines safety as elimination, minimization, or management of harm to the public, possibly including animals and property.

A new report from RAND Corporation offers a framework for measuring safety in automated vehicles (AVs), one that could be used by companies, policymakers, and the public. The report's authors considered how to define safety for AVs, how to measure their safety, and how to communicate what is learned or understood about them. It compares the challenges to people's perceptions of safety with other types of technology when those were first introduced, including elevators, and discusses how aviation safety's progress might be comparable.

Given AVs' limited on-road exposure compared with conventional, human-driven vehicles, the authors also consider options for proxy measurements — i.e., factors that might be correlated with safety — and explore how safety measurements could be made in simulation and on closed courses. Their report highlights the kinds of information that could be presented to boost public understanding of AV safety.

Saying no standard definition of safety exists in regard to AVs, the report defines safety as the elimination, minimization, or management of harm to the public (with an emphasis on people, although it can include animals and property). It says the methods of measuring safety must be valid, feasible, reliable, and non-manipulatable; they can be leading (proxy measures of driving behaviors correlated to safety outcomes) or lagging (actual safety outcomes involving harm).

Clearer communication about safety between the industry and the public will be critical for public acceptance of AVs, they point out. During AV development, regulators and the public should focus their concerns on the safety of the public, not on how development is progressing, the report says. It also says research is needed on how to measure and communicate AV system safety in an environment where the system evolves through frequent updates.

The research described in the report was prepared for the Uber Advanced Technologies Group and conducted by the Science, Technology, and Policy Program and the Justice Policy Program within RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue