When it comes to safety, our goal is to be indistinguishable from perfect.
We stand together with the entire AV industry on safety. Our commitment to safety permeates every aspect of our organisation, technology and our work.
From core system architecture and sensor and algorithmic redundancy to cyber security; from testing and evaluation regimes to hardware selection; from organisational structure to customer use and standards creation: safety motivates, informs and shapes every part of our work at Oxbotica.
Oxbotica’s Safety Case
A safety case is a suite of documents and evidence which demonstrate and support the continued safe development and operation of our software platform. It has two parts: operational safety and system safety.
Our system safety case ensures that our technology is safe at a fundamental level. It covers everything from how our system behaves (because of architecture, design and implementation) to how we protect it from potential threats.
Our operational safety case focuses on the processes and procedures that ensure safe operation of our systems by ourselves and our customers. It’s rooted in a strong foundation of established safety procedures, risk assessment best practice and legal compliance.
These two closely-linked components of our safety case work together to define our operational design domain – that’s how we describe the conditions in which an autonomous vehicle is designed to operate safely – and our validation and verification strategies.
World-Leading Safety Recognition
We are the first and only autonomy company in the world to have our safety case recognized by a global certification institute. In 2021, the BSI granted formal recognition that our robust safety strategy fully complies with the UK Government Code of Practice for Automated Vehicle trialling, PAS 1881 (Assuring the safety of automated vehicle trials and testing – Specification) and PAS 1883 (Operational Design Domain (ODD) taxonomy for an automated driving system (ADS) – Specification).
Of course, large-scale and diverse testing is an integral part of software development at Oxbotica. We test in many ways, using both established industry best-practices and new techniques which are appropriate for a product as advanced and complex as AV software. We see as much scope and need for innovation in how we test, verify, and validate the software as in the AV software itself. This is why we invented the Oxbotica MetaDriver.
We also put our software through its paces on our vehicle fleet, including multiple vehicle platforms deployed across multiple scenarios and environments, in both custom test facilities and, in accordance with PAS 1881, on public roads.
The Core Safety Questions
When building our product we ask and answer the following questions:
- What makes an AV safe?
- What external factors and challenging circumstances must it navigate?
- How does our architecture provide intrinsic robustness?
- How can we plan for conditions that have never been encountered or envisioned?
- How can we efficiently and comprehensively test performance of such a complex system?
- How can we build a validation and verification system that allows for rapid updates to ensure our product utilises the latest technology and software?
- How can we make the entire system auditable so that we can always explain what the system is doing and if necessary, easily adjust its behaviour?
Expert, Highly-Trained Drivers & Operators
Whenever and wherever we are operating vehicles using software under development and testing, the vehicle is under the care of an Autonomy Control System Operators (ACSO). An ACSO monitors system performance in real time, either from inside the vehicle or externally, ready to take control if needed. Often our vehicles will also have an additional highly qualified human safety driver with extensive AV experience and training. We use fault injection testing to simulate possible system failures so that they can practise their responses in a training environment.
Meeting Public Expectations of Safety
AV safety is the foundation for building public trust in the mobility services these innovations enable. We stand together with all AV stakeholders in defining industry best practices, standards, and regulatory frameworks for safety assurance. We are committed to the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, with the ambitious target of preventing at least 50% of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030.
Authentic Stakeholder Engagement
We foster active, genuine connections with our stakeholders, who typically include local residents and vulnerable road users, land owners, emergency services, and official bodies such as CCAV. Engagement sessions represent important opportunities to share information, listen to concerns and learn. This candid input is crucial to our real-world trials of our systems, especially in mixed traffic, and we encourage stakeholders to take an active role in the testing and development of our systems.