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On the road to fully self-driving – Waymo Safety Report [pdf] (googleapis.com)
13 points by astigsen 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments

For all its flaws (and I haven’t seen many: I really like that report) that is a dramatic change in how we understand road safety: private actors now feel the responsibility to publish their understanding of all-encompassing safety.

Compared to historical car manufacturers who consider that they responsibility stops at the paint layer, this is a welcome change. I’m always concerned browsing through reports that reads, paraphrased “Our cars are f-cking tanks, we will mow through any obstacle and you’ll barely even notice.”

I’m always hesitant to give more reporting power to private actors (they tend to get their PR team spin it hard) but in that case, that report informs effective internal decision: Do we put more aggressive thresholds to break when a cyclist appears nearby to our radars? Do we use a more accusing beeping sound when driving too close to the curb, tailgating?

Distributed actors have proven they have very little concern for human lives. Centralised systems, when they are ubiquitous, will have to take that terrifying number of 1.2 million as their own key performance indicator and act differently.

This report is not enough to convince me their cars are safe, but it's a good start. Haven't seen anything like this from their competitors.

At it's best, the article suggests google is being methodical and responsible with its rollout. At it's worst, it's a PR blitz to give the appearance of safety, but even that is a good start as it acknowledges that people care about autonomous vehicle safety.

What are the views on ISO 26262 functional safety compliance in the US self driving companies? This report is very light on details and only mentions ISO 26262 in the passing.

Here in Europe it seems to me that functional safety is high on the self driving agenda ... (maybe too high?)

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