Towards the Unification and Data-Driven Synthesis of Autonomous Vehicle Safety Concepts


As safety-critical autonomous vehicles (AVs) will soon become pervasive in our society, a number of safety concepts for trusted AV deployment have been recently proposed throughout industry and academia. Yet, agreeing upon an “appropriate” safety concept is still an elusive task. In this paper, we advocate for the use of Hamilton Jacobi (HJ) reachability as a unifying mathematical framework for comparing existing safety concepts, and propose ways to expand its modeling premises in a data-driven fashion. Specifically, we show that (i) existing predominant safety concepts can be embedded in the HJ reachability framework, thereby enabling a common language for comparing and contrasting modeling assumptions, and (ii) HJ reachability can serve as an inductive bias to effectively reason, in a data-driven context, about two critical, yet often overlooked aspects of safety: responsibility and context-dependency.