J3206_202107 Taxonomy and Definition of Safety Principles for Automated Driving System (ADS)



Issuing Committee
This SAE Information Report classifies and defines a harmonized set of safety principles intended to be considered by ADS and ADS-equipped vehicle development stakeholders. The set of safety principles herein is based on the collection and analysis of existing information from multiple entities, reflecting the content and spirit of their efforts, including:
  • SAE ITC AVSC Best Practices
  • CAMP Automated Vehicle Research for Enhanced Safety - Final Report
  • RAND Report - Measuring Automated Vehicle Safety: Forging a Framework
  • U.S. DOT: Automated Driving Systems 2.0 - A Vision for Safety
  • Safety First for Automated Driving (SaFAD)
  • UNECE WP29 amendment proposal
  • UNECE/TRANS/WP.29/GRVA/2019/13
  • On a Formal Model of Safe and Scalable Self-Driving Cars (Intel RSS model)
  • SAE J3018
This SAE Information Report provides guidance for the consideration and application of the safety principles for the development and deployment of ADS and ADS-equipped vehicles. This SAE Information Report is not intended to encompass all aspects of system-level safety for an ADS-equipped vehicle, including communication with other traffic participants. Addressing all identified safety principles is intended to support, but not fully ensure, comprehensive system-level safety.
As an SAE Information Report, this document is non-normative, imposes no requirements, and does not address:
  • Requirements for methodology, metrics, and/or acceptance thresholds.
  • Ethics-related safety principles, or any link between the safety principles defined in this document and ethical studies/frameworks.
  • Conformance with safety principles for purposes of liability and/or fault assignment.
As ADS technology and deployment are expanded in the future, this document may be reconsidered for future revision including normative requirements.
For automated driving systems (ADSs) and ADS-equipped vehicles, there are many interpretations of what constitutes a “safety principle.” Some principles focus on design and development, some on behavior, and others on maintenance and support of ADS-equipped vehicles. With the variety of information and attempts at defining ADS safety principles available for industry and public alike, the need for clarification on classification and definitions of safety principles has become urgent.
The clarification on classification and definitions will enable the industry to have a common taxonomy and terminology when discussing safety principles and will serve to facilitate ADS developers in applying and adhering to appropriate principles for safer design, development, and deployment of ADS-equipped vehicles.
In addition to the recognized need for ADS safety principles by the industry itself, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also called upon SAE to define and develop a set of safety principles for industry use. This document is intended to respond to these needs.
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SAE International Information Report, Taxonomy and Definition of Safety Principles for Automated Driving System (ADS), SAE Standard J3206_202107, Issued July 2021, https://doi.org/10.4271/J3206_202107.
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Jul 7, 2021
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