Responsibility-Sensitive Safety

A mathematical model for automated vehicle safety

How will AVs safely share the road with human drivers?

One of the biggest threats to the successful realization of an autonomous future is the lack of agreement on what it means for an AV to drive safely. Only when industry, governments, and the public have a common way to understand and assess the driving skill and safety of an automated vehicle (AV) will they be trusted to safely drive alongside people.

With human-inspired common sense rules for what it means to drive safely as our guide, Mobileye has proposed a technology neutral safety model that can help industry and government alike come to a common definition of what it means for an automated vehicle to drive safely. Made up of formal logic and rules, our proposal – called Responsibility-Sensitive Safety (RSS) – adheres to five safety rules.

The 5 Safety Rules of RSS

Don’t hit the car in front of you

Based on common laws of physics and a century of driving experience, new human drivers are taught to leave enough space between themselves and the car in front of them in order to provide enough time to react if the car in front were to suddenly brake. The 'Two Second Rule' is an intuitive way for any human driver to leave a safe distance without needing to calculate the velocities of both cars, the driver’s reaction time, and the front vehicle’s braking capability.

The AV, on the other hand, can be programmed to create and operate within a safe following distance, based on the formula below.

The moment the distance between the two cars is less than dmin, the AV brakes until a safe following distance is restored, or until the vehicle comes to a complete stop, whichever occurs first.

Oct 29, 2017

Prof. Shashua at World Knowledge Forum: Platform for Safe & Scalable AVs

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The forthcoming IEEE standard [to develop a standard for safety considerations in AV decision-making] will provide a useful tool to answer the question of what it means for an AV to drive safely

Jack Weast

Intel senior principal engineer