Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium™ Releases Best Practice for Developing ADS Safety Performance Thresholds Based on Human Driving Behavior

Document Addresses Leveraging Human Driving Data to Establish Safety Performance Targets for ADS-DV Behaviors

WARRENDALE, Pa. (Aug 29, 2023) – The Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium™ (AVSC), a program of SAE Industry Technologies Consortia (SAE ITC®),  just announced the availability of their 12th best practice, titled Developing ADS Safety Performance Thresholds Based on Human Driving Behavior. This best practice outlines a process for leveraging human driving data to establish safety performance targets for automated driving system-dedicated vehicles (ADS-DV) behaviors. The targets within the specific use-case exemplified in this best practice are based on naturalistic driving data from manually driven vehicles in the hope of aiding understanding from a broad audience of stakeholders.

Automated driving system (ADS) developers need a way to describe safe and competent driving for ADS-DVs in a way that is relatable to how stakeholders interpret safe driving today. Metrics informed by competent and safe human behavior could improve understanding and confidence in ADS-DVs. One way to make ADS safety performance relatable to stakeholders is to adopt an intuitive comparison to behaviors displayed on the road by human drivers.

“We are excited because this best practice provides guidelines for developers to use data from human driving studies to establish measurable performance reference values and build evidence that supports the safety of their systems.” said Darcyne Foldenauer, Director of the AVSC.

The safety performance of some ADS behaviors can be measured and compared to naturalistic driving studies data from human drivers to help characterize the socially acceptable balance between safety, lawful driving, efficiency, and comfort. For instance, developers can utilize human-driver data to determine an appropriate minimum passing distance when vulnerable road users are present. This process enables them to enhance the safety performance of ADS fleets by aligning it with human-relative benchmarks and considerations.

“It is one way to make performance data relatable to various stakeholders and furthers our mission to build trust in AV systems,” added Foldenauer.

To download the paper, click HERE

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The Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium™ (AVSC) is an industry program of SAE Industry
Technologies Consortia® (SAE ITC). The AVSC shares information to inform and accelerate industry-wide standards and advance the safe development, deployment, and fleet operations of automated driving systems (ADSs). The members of this Consortium have decades of accumulated experience including millions of cumulative miles of physical and simulated ADS testing focused on safer, reliable, high-quality transportation. They are committed to applying their experience and combined knowledge to earn public confidence in the safe operation of SAE level 4 and level 5 automated vehicles.

SAE Industry Technologies Consortia (SAE ITC®) is an affiliate of SAE International. The SAE ITC team specializes in establishing and managing consortia by providing proven processes, tools, and resources. SAE ITC enables public, private, academic and government organizations to connect and collaborate in neutral, pre-competitive forums thus empowering the setting and implementation of strategic business improvements in highly engineered industries globally.

About SAE International
SAE International is a global association committed to advancing mobility knowledge and solutions for the benefit of humanity. By engaging nearly 200,000 engineers, technical experts and volunteers, we connect and educate mobility professionals to enable safe, clean, and accessible mobility solutions. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including award-winning programs like A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™. More at


SAE Media Contact:
Jeff Laskowski
SAE International

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