Risk Assessment for Teleoperations of Level 4 Automated Driving Systems

Research Team: Jiaqi Ma (lead), Camila Correa Jullian, Marilia Ramos, and Xin Xia

UC Campus(es): UCLA

Problem Statement: The growing interest in Automated Driving Systems (ADS) has driven technological and regulatory advancements across various applications. High-autonomy vehicles, whether privately-owned or part of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) fleets, are poised to reshape the transportation landscape. However, as the technical, commercial, and regulatory landscape evolves, recent incident reports from testing and small-scale deployments suggest the need for a more focused approach to operational safety. This includes addressing issues like traffic disruptions and incident management procedures. Operational safety goes beyond the functional safety of ADS-equipped vehicles and encompasses activities such as service monitoring, dispatching, maintenance, incident response, staffing, training, and passenger support. It becomes a critical factor when scaling operations in vehicles without trained safety drivers, prompting questions about how vehicle manufacturers, ADS developers, and fleet operators can ensure safety before widespread commercialization and deployment.

Project Description: This research project focuses on uncovering safety risks in Level 4 ADS-equipped vehicles during teleoperation, particularly in short to medium-term Mobility as a Service (MaaS) scenarios where there's no safety driver. The researchers will investigate the role of fleet operators in ensuring operational safety beyond the basic vehicle functionality. Their approach combines traditional and innovative hazard identification methods to analyze risks involving human, software, and hardware systems, leading to the identification of twenty high-level hazard scenarios. The project will also outline the operational safety responsibilities of fleet operators, which are translated into risk mitigation activities covering procedures, training, tools, and work conditions. These activities are prioritized based on their impact on safety and resource requirements, aiding resource allocation decisions. Key safety actions include change management, remote supervisor training, ensuring optimal working conditions, enforcing connectivity and dispatching requirements, and coordinating incident responses. By implementing these measures, fleet operators can prevent and mitigate safety risks during the teleoperation of ADS-equipped fleets. The findings and risk mitigation strategies identified in this research can also inform the operational safety of privately-owned vehicles and their future large-scale deployment.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $10,000

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