Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Measuring the Safety of ADS: How safe is safe enough?


Automated driving systems (ADS) are being developed faster than any point in history. There is a need to have an independent system to measure the safety of ADS across technologies and corporations. There are a variety of efforts around the world trying to estimate the impact of these systems on safety both prior to and after implementation. A missing piece that could allow for more cohesion and safer implementation is the knowledge of what type of data is needed for the refinement and further development of these systems. The purpose of this project is to determine the best method to collect data on the earliest adopter of these advanced vehicle control system and how to rapidly to use this data to evaluate the safety of these systems in the field. A new data acquisition system will be developed through this project according. The data collected by this new data acquisition system will be analyzed, including root cause assessments to measure the safety levels of these systems, as well as how to understand why a system may not be achieving the safety benefit envisioned. The project focus will be on the data that should be collected, how to collect that data, how to rapidly get that data from the field and how to rapidly use that data to assess the safety of these advanced features including any benefit and disbenefits.  The project scope will not include developing a data acquisition system for this purpose but will include envisioning, developing, and testing some of the key components required to access and analyze the necessary data.

Project Highlights

Coming Soon!

Final Report

06-014 Final Report

EWD & T2 Products

Coming Soon!


Herbers, E. (2024, January 25). Measuring the Safety of ADS: How Safe is Safe Enough? Webinar SafeD Virtual Webinar is available here. PDF of PowerPoint slides from Webinar available here.

Research Investigators (PI*)

Andy Petersen (VTTI/VT)*
Jon Hankey (VTTI/VT)
Eileen Herbers (VTTI/VT)
Zac Doerzaph (VTTI/VT)
Elizabeth White (VTTI/VT)

Project Information

Start Date: 2022-07-01
End Date: 2023-12-01
Status: Complete
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $759,406
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: 06-014

Safe-D Theme Areas

Automated Vehicles
Big Data Analytics

Safe-D Application Areas

Performance Measures
Planning for Safety
Vehicle Technology

More Information

UTC Project Information Form

Sponsor Organization

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
University Transportation Centers Program
Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590 United States

Performing Organization

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
3500 Transportation Research Plaza
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061