What is a safety case?
A safety case is a collection of documents that demonstrate why an organisation thinks that it is safe to perform an activity.
How do we use it?
Our safety case is pivotal to how we operate our vehicles, even before we deploy them on public roads.
Process & Procedures
Due diligence processes form the basis of our safety case. We regularly check our operations against the UK Government Department for Transport’s Code of Practice for compliance and complete thorough risk assessment to mitigate against multiple scenarios.
Testing takes many forms at Oxbotica and is vital to operating our vehicles safely. We test our software for bugs and against recorded data. We also run simulation testing for hundreds of thousands of virtual miles to prepare for many different scenarios before our software is deployed in a vehicle.
As well as simulation testing, we put our vehicles through their paces on the test track, too. We conduct exhaustive testing of new versions of our software in multiple scenarios on private roads and on the test track to ensure the safety of the car’s performance.
Our systems are designed with cyber security in mind. To ensure we remain safe from threats, we complete regular penetration tests by emulating the behaviour of potential hackers and resolving any weaknesses.
Autonomy System Operators
Autonomy system operators monitor progress from the passenger seat. This team all participate in autonomous vehicle (AV) classroom training as well as AV in-vehicle training, ensuring they are prepared for any scenario.
Our safety drivers are given the best training, starting before they even get in the car. Each driver participates in AV classroom training as well as an external advanced driver training course. They are then trained to control the AVs on private roads. We use fault injection testing to simulate possible system failures so that they can practise their responses in a training environment.
We have set procedures so that our drive is as safe as possible. For example, we always have two people in the car during the drive and we adhere to short working hours.
We regularly hold conversations with the local authorities and emergency services, so we can make sure they are happy with how we plan to operate our vehicles and to understand how we can best engage with the public. We capture data on a simple, external data logger for their use, if required.
When we’re finally out on the road, each car has additional in-built safety features. This means we can manually take control of the vehicle whenever we need to – including to perform an emergency stop. Each car has a dash cam to monitor and record activity.
Safety is our top priority. We concentrate on bringing autonomy only to areas where we know that our cars will operate safely.