The first tool in the global auto industry that is able to evaluate whether and when it would be safe to deploy autonomous cars and trucks, which do not have a human behind the wheel, on public roads, is claimed to have been released by Aurora, a Silicon Valley self-driving startup that was founded by former executives from Tesla, Uber and Google.
“We think this is the only way you can get to a safe, commercializable product,” said co-founder and CEO Chris Urmson of Aurora’s new Safety Case Framework.
The aim of Aurora is to place its self-driving system that are used and would be used in commercial service in heavy-duty trucks by late 2023 and that would be achieved by the firm in partnership with PACCAR and Volvo Group.
It was just days that the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started an investigation into the Autopilot driving assistance feature of Tesla after a number of accidents in which various Tesla models and emergency vehicles were involved.
The safety tool released by Aurora offers clients a methodology and metrics to help thee mot get a fair idea of the progress made from development to deployment of self-driving vehicles.
There was “no bearing” on Aurora’s decision to release its framework of the latest NHTSA investigation of Tesla, Urmson said. He said that the tool offered by his company uses a “structured approach” for testing and validation of he safety of self-driving systems. The systems of the tool includes four levels of claims connected with the safe development, testing and evaluation of Aurora’s self-driving systems, which require supporting evidence.
There has been an ongoing dialogue between Urmson and the US safety agency which started at the time when he was the head of the self-driving car program at Google which has been renamed Waymo.
Similar discussions with professional organizations as the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers are also being held by Aurora for specifically to “look at different standards and approaches to safety.”
The company which was founded about five years ago and plans to get publicly listed later this year at a pro-forma market capitalization of $13 billion. The company has so far been able to raise more than $2.2 billion.
Amazon, Hyundai, BMW, Shell and SoftBank were among the early investors of Aurora. Aurora’s SPAC-backed reverse merger, which is slated to close in the fourth quarter, is also being supported by fund managers Fidelity, Baillie Gifford and T. Rowe Price.
(Adapted from NDTV.com)