Aurora announces Safety Case Framework for autonomous vehicles

Truck driver in a self-driving truck

Self-driving company Aurora has released a beta version of its autonomous truck and passenger vehicle safety framework.

Aurora’s Safety Case Framework incorporates guidance from government agencies, best practices from safety-critical industries, voluntary industry standards, and consortiums. Most notably, the framework helps evaluate autonomous vehicles’ development, testing, and operation in public environments.

“The safety case-based approach is a defined way to evaluate when its vehicles are safe enough to operate on public roads and to assess that they are not creating an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety,” explained Aurora.

Aurora has based its framework on five safety principles: proficient, fail-safe, continuously improving, resilient, and trustworthy.

Aurora also uses its Safety Case Framework to continuously analyze and evaluate Aurora Driver's performance and development against internal standards. According to the company, the framework’s assessment offers organizations assurance for putting self-driving vehicles in use, with or without human operators.

The Aurora Safety Case Framework is also capable of assessing intentional misuse and abuse of autonomous vehicles.

“A Safety Case Framework is the most effective and efficient path to safely pulling the safety driver and it’s an imperative component for any company looking to operate without a safety driver and safely deliver commercial-ready self-driving vehicles at scale,” said Chris Urmson, CEO and co-founder of Aurora.

Urmson continued, “It’s something other self-driving companies should strongly consider using as they move towards commercialization.”

“Rather than being limited to just the vehicle, Aurora’s Safety Case Framework lays out the safety story for Aurora as a self-driving enterprise: the vehicle, people, processes, culture, and supporting programs and systems of the organization,” added Aurora.