Re: [SystemSafety] How Many Miles of Driving Would It Take to Demonstrate Autonomous Vehicle Reliability?

From: Mike Ellims < >
Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2016 15:44:35 +0100

I suspect that Google, Tesla and now Daimler with the E Class, have probably all conducted a lot of closed road testing (and prob. still do) before deployment and in the background and there was probably lots of “well monitored progressive development”. We just don’t see much of the detail, we just get the headlines.  

Because the real world is noisy and pretty much unconstrained and there is only so much you can do and learn on a closed test track, the 64 billion dollar question being interacting with the environment. My best guess is that a large part of the Google program (and probably Tesla’s) is to collect vast amounts of data on what the real world looks like to their systems so they can rerun test drives as many times as necessary.  

At the moment I think the situation is “it depends”. In California the regulators have developed a set of requirements for AV’s, but in other states regulators have less onerous requirements for example in California regulators require reports of “incidents” but in Washington State they don’t. Google at least appears to have a complete set of data logging, Tesla has some logging, but their system is only “intended” for on- highway use so may be less all encompassing than Google’s. It is also reasonable to assume that like Goole Tesla also has an in-house test fleet. I have no idea what Daimler are up to.  

I think Tesla have made on-air updates to their system several times already, partly as a response to owners posting what they described as crazy behaviour on youtube e.g. reading newspapers while driving and reported issues e.g. inconsistent headway to lead vehicles. Tesla have also made at least one change after discussions with regulators in Singapore. Google have a much smaller fleet of vehicles so a much smaller update problem and they only have that test fleet. Again no information on Daimler’s new E Class.  

A more interesting question is what do people think that a satisfactory set of criteria for self driving cars would be? I’ve seen proposals for a driving test for such vehicles mirroring the driving test that new drivers have to pass which is reasonable a one level but perhaps not at others, e.g. Alvery’s comments on system improvement in as much as a new drivers skill increases as they do more driving.  

As a first approximation I think it could include all or some of the following


From: systemsafety [mailto:systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx Sent: 18 April 2016 13:37
To: systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: Re: [SystemSafety] How Many Miles of Driving Would It Take to Demonstrate Autonomous Vehicle Reliability?  

I’m not sure whether I’m missing the point here, but …



From: systemsafety [mailto:systemsafety-bounces_at_xxxxxx Sent: 18 April 2016 1:04 PM
To: martyn_at_xxxxxx
Cc: systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Subject: Re: [SystemSafety] How Many Miles of Driving Would It Take to Demonstrate Autonomous Vehicle Reliability?  

Sure, making a bunch of assumptions.  

But I'd personally be comfortable after a couple of months of realistic road trials.

Matthew Squair  

MIEAust, CPEng

Mob: +61 488770655

Email; Mattsquair_at_xxxxxx


On 18 Apr 2016, at 5:54 PM, Martyn Thomas <martyn_at_xxxxxx

On 18/04/2016 08:25, Peter Bishop wrote:

According to the Rand graph, we would need 1 million miles for a 95%

confidence that the driverless car crash rate is a least as good as a

driven one.

i.e. a fleet of 100 cars driving 10000 miles each for one year.

... under the same range and frequency of conditions as the comparable fleet with human drivers.


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