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The Key to AV Safety is ODD

  • Magazine Article
  • 20AVEP01_08
Published January 01, 2020 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Truly safe automated driving depends on defining the exhaustive list of overlapping conditions, use cases, restrictions and scenarios an AV might encounter.

In a perfect world, an automated vehicle (AV) would be all-knowing. Its sensors, communication systems and computing power could predict every road hazard and avoid all risks. But until a wholly omniscient self-driving vehicle is a reality, there will be one burning question for AV developers and regulators - and the public: How safe is safe enough?

Despite about $100 billion of investment in AVs to this point, nobody has an adequate answer. Safety standards and metrics have not yet been established. The world's leading roboticists are scratching their heads. Regulators are largely perplexed. Until there's an answer to this almost abstract question, the great promise of AVs to reduce accidents and save lives, free up our time and democratize mobility will remain beyond our grasp.