AV Safety Assessment Process
A Holistic Approach for Safe Deployments
At Stantec GenerationAV™, our mission is to accelerate widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles (AVs). Not because we think the technology is super cool (which we do), but because AVs hold a promise of a safer future. To truly achieve that safer future though, we need to take every step necessary to safely deploy these vehicles.
Safety is—and needs to be—the driving force in AV deployment.
Our safety assessment process is built around 12 essential elements that can all be used independently or collectively to cover all safety considerations that will enable confident deployments.
We work with clients every step of the way, tangibly demonstrating the importance of safety across every element, from the vehicle environment to operational practices, and to ensure a healthy safety culture. The final outcome is a level of trust and confidence in any AV deployment, safe in the knowledge that all efforts have been taken to evaluate and mitigate any identified safety risks and hazards.
The Need for a Holistic Safety Assessment
Safety, as perceived by users, is a prerequisite for the successful widespread deployment of AVs. There is currently no single standard, best practice, or guideline that covers AV safety in a holistic manner. This is of concern as the identification and mitigation of risks and hazards extends beyond the driving system and the Operational Design Domain (ODD) and into the organization.
AVs are both driven and bound by safety.
The Stantec GenerationAV™ Safety
A process is key for a holistic assessment as there are multiple methodologies, standards, best practices, and areas involved. It begins with an initial assessment of the ODD, then to vehicle safety and security systems, management and operations, and finally to field monitoring and evaluation with feedback and resolution.
The Safety Assessment can be used by AV Developers and Operators, as well as deploying agencies and companies, for all ground vehicle applications including sidewalk robots, low-speed autonomous shuttles, personal vehicles, robotaxis, and commercial trucks.
The deliverables, based upon a Third Party Independent Assessment Report(s), include:
- Risk assessment and analysis
- Risk identification, quantification, and mitigation measures
- Safety metrics
- Recommendations for improvement
- SME and Specialist External Partner knowledge and experience
- Planning & Deployment
- Management & Operations
- Monitor & Evaluate
- Final Deliverable
Planning & Deployment:
Planning & Deployment
OPERATIONAL DESIGN DOMAIN RISK ASSESSMENT
A fundamental element regarding readiness of AV deployments is a thorough risk assessment and analysis of the ODD. This starts with the core definition of the ODD as understood by the client, gaps identified, and then further developed and expanded if required. With the ODD defined, the proposed route(s) would be analyzed through detailed route risk assessment and analysis. We’ll quantify the risks through our proprietary tools—then define the mitigation strategies and control measures. Testing sets can also be developed of representative edge case scenarios for verification through simulation and testing.
AUTOMATED VEHICLE APPLICATION ASSESSMENT
Using the GenerationAV Industry Analytics platform as a reference guide, the proposed vehicle requirements will be reviewed and will include the vehicle platform, specifications, performance, Automated Driving System (ADS) elements, and connectivity. The requirements will be assessed against overall vehicle, system, and sub-system capabilities. We’ll also cover the application capabilities of the vehicle, including storage, charging, infrastructure requirements, and environmental factors.
Management & Operations:
Management & Operations
ORGANIZATION & STANDARD OPERATIONS PROCESS ASSESSMENT
In this assessment, we’re looking at the organization and standard operations processes and procedures documentation—specifically related to the development and deployment of AVs. This includes safety management systems, safety measures and metrics, events and reporting, vehicle maintenance and cleaning, and change control.
HIRING REQUIREMENTS, TRAINING METHODOLOGIES, & MANAGEMENT TOOLS
An extension of the organization and standard operations processes, here we’re focused on the hiring requirements, training methodologies, and management tools specifically related to the development and deployment of AVs. This also covers operator monitoring, AV operation, fleet maintenance, and dispatch management.
Monitor & Evaluate:
Monitor & Evaluate
MONITORING, REPORTING & CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
Monitoring the operations and gathering feedback from our deployment is crucial for understanding and promptly mitigating safety risks and issues during the AV lifecycle. These areas include ODD expansion, product upgrades, modifications, or software releases as part of the lifecycle, as well as identifying issues through the reporting of AV related metrics at an agreed cadence.
The final deliverables of the overall AV Deployment Safety Assessment are both tangible and intangible. Following the risk and hazard assessment, recommendations are provided for AV risk assessment and mitigation through a Third Party Independent Assessment Report. Throughout the assessment and mitigation efforts, we bring the client along every step of the way. This is critical to the process and to establishing or further developing a strong culture of safety within the client organization. A safety culture is vital for the success of an AV deployment, big or small. The intangible deliverable is a sense of trust and confidence in the deployment, knowing that all efforts have been taken and documented to evaluate and mitigate the identified safety risks and hazards.