Wednesday 26 January 2022, 1.35PM
Speaker(s): Professor Philip Koopman
Governance of who decides when and where to test and deploy autonomous vehicle (AV) technology--and on what basis--is a pressing problem. At the moment, an essentially opaque governance model is being run by the AV industry in the US. With few exceptions, companies do not follow industry safety standards, and are not required to. Public sentiment has soured to a degree as timelines have stretched and high profile crashes with injuries and deaths attributed to the technology mount. The industry frequently states that they cannot succeed without public trust, and indeed trust will be essential to riding through future adverse news cycles that will inevitably arrive.
Nonetheless, the industry persists in practices that erode trust, including safety opacity, promoting misleading public talking points, adversarial relations with regulators, some reckless road testing practices, and over-hyped promises of a road safety utopia being just beyond an ever-receding horizon. Hopefully the industry will recognize the cognitive dissonance of their current approach and shift to a collaborative governance model to build trust before the current situation catches up with them.
Professor Philip Koopman is an internationally recognized expert on Autonomous Vehicle (AV) safety whose work in that area spans over 25 years. He is also actively involved with AV policy and standards as well as more general embedded system design and software quality. His pioneering research work includes software robustness testing and run time monitoring of autonomous systems to identify how they break and how to fix them. He has extensive experience in software safety and software quality across numerous transportation, industrial, and defense application domains including conventional automotive software and hardware systems. He was the principal technical contributor to the UL 4600 standard for autonomous system safety issued in 2020. He is a faculty member of the Carnegie Mellon University ECE department where he teaches software skills for mission-critical systems. In 2018 he was awarded the highly selective IEEE-SSIT Carl Barus Award for outstanding service in the public interest for his work in promoting automotive computer-based system safety.