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Mcity outlines concept for evaluating the safety of HAVs before road testing

Mcity at the University of Michigan has outlined a test track-based concept for evaluating the safety of highly automated vehicles before they’re tested on public roads that could emerge as a model for a voluntary standard for safety testing.

The project comes after two highly-publicized fatalities last year stoked consumer fears about the safety of driverless vehicles, and slowed development of the technologies that have the potential to save lives, conserve energy, and expand accessibility to transportation.

The Mcity ABC Test concept would create an independent safety assessment for highly automated vehicles (HAVs). It would be a key element in a three-pronged approach to HAV testing, along with simulation and on-road evaluation. Mcity is a public-private partnership led by U-M to accelerate advanced mobility vehicles and technologies.

The ABCs of the three-part test include Accelerated evaluation, Behavior competence and Corner cases. Accelerated evaluation concentrates on the most common risky driving situations. Behavior competence puts vehicles through a set of scenarios that correspond to major motor vehicle crash frequency. Drawing from a variety of sources,

Mcity compiled a list of 50 such scenarios, of which 35 were chosen for near-term focus, including 16 scenarios for low-speed, path-following Level-4 vehicles. Corner-case testing focuses on situations that test the limits of automated vehicle performance and technology.

Mcity researchers are working on executing the Mcity ABC Test, beginning with three accelerated evaluation behaviors, and the 16 behavior competence scenarios for low-speed Level-4 vehicles, such as the driverless shuttles Mcity is operating on U-M’s North Campus. Mcity will pursue funding support needed to prove the Mcity ABC Test concept.

Researchers are developing the ABC test concept using the Mcity Test Facility, U-M’s controlled, real-world environment for testing connected and automated vehicles. The ABC test could be scaled for larger test facilities as well, such as the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township, Mich. U-M is a founding partner of ACM.

Source: Press Release

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