Development of a “Primary Other Test Vehicle” for the Testing and Evaluation of High-Level Automated Vehicles

Project Abstract/Statement of Work:

It is critical to thoroughly and rigorously test and evaluate an Automated Vehicle (AV) before it is released as a production vehicle. Recent crashes involving Google and Tesla vehicles brought significant attention to the safety of AVs. The Tesla Autopilot, in particular, was criticized of being released too early and the consumers were used as beta testers. Currently, there is no federal standards or guidance on the testing and evaluation of AVs. Many companies choose to test their AVs on the public streets. A well-known problem of this approach is its inefficiency due to the low exposure of safety critical events in daily driving. Therefore, the concept of accelerated evaluation was proposed by the PI, with the goal of exposing the AV with higher driving risk, mainly from more aggressive behaviors of the primary other vehicle. This concept was found to accelerate the evaluation process by 2-5 orders of magnitude. [1]

In this proposal, we focus on developing two practical elements for experimentally realizing the concept of accelerated evaluation on a test track: a) building a stochastic library of conflict driving scenarios; b) developing a test vehicle that can flexibly and safely emulate the motions of the Primary Other Vehicle (POV).

Team (PI and Co-PI):