This week we are joined by Deb Prince. She is the chairperson of the UL 4600 group and program at Underwriters Laboratories.
As astute listeners will remember UL 4600 is the Standard for Safety for the Evaluation of Autonomous Products such as automated cars. Those Waymo and GM Cruise things that keep us entertained. If you want to be well informed like Fred you can get a copy here of UL 4600 online.
Want to learn more about deer strikes? Read the Washington Post article, Fear the deer: Crash data illuminates America’s deadliest animal.
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note: this is a machine generated transcript and may not be completely accurate. This is provided for convience and should not be used for attribution.
Anthony: Welcome listeners. Today we have with us Deb Prince. She’s a program manager at Underwriters Laboratory. That and the chairman of UL 4,600 and now UL 4,600 for you Astute listeners is something that Fred has mentioned at least a half a dozen times. Underwriters Laboratory. We’ve all seen those little stickers and tags on your lamps and everything else.
And so welcome, Deb. Hopefully you can tell us a little bit more about about your work and how this applies to making cars.
Deb: Thank you. Thank you for having me today.
Michael: And I’m interested in this. I was looking back at the history of ul, and when and how they started and, it looked, I think they were founded in the 19th century, the late 18th hundreds.
And they was primarily due to the growth and, people having electricity in their homes and businesses and the need for. Fire prevention. They, they certify fire extinguishers in addition to the wiring and that type of thing. And then as consumer technology is evolved during the 20th century, they’re on everything, UL on everything from microwaves to toasters to anything that’s plugged in your house.
And, I’ve seen they also now have electric vehicle standards. And so it’s almost. A just a matter of time before UL is involved in some of the, these really heavy technical electric systems that we’re always dealing with on, in, in cars. We see a lot of standards from nhtsa.
They have, a few dozen safety regulations they enforce. And also you might hear us talk about S sae Society of Automotive Engineers standards. Frequently, and, there are hundreds of those. And when you look at those, Almost all of them are focused generally on a specific mechanical or electrical function of the vehicle, how thick a brake hose is, how tires perform under temperature, things like that.
But when you. UL 4,600 is a different animal because instead of I, really focusing on a part or a piece, it’s more focused on a process and it’s also not specifically directed at cars, although it’s certainly applicable. It’s directed at. I would say any form of autonomous vehicle and perhaps other forms of autonomy.
So tell me what I got wrong there, Deb .
Deb: Okay. You did a great job, Michael. I’d like to just step back and Right. Absolutely. Underwriters Laboratories did form in the 18 hundreds as a result of electricity and fires and things like that. The first UL standard was form, was actually published in 1903, and it dealt with 10 clad fire doors.
And let me tell you, that standard is still in use today. It has been updated. I can’t even remember what addition we’re on, but is it updated along the way? Initially the risk were fire. Fire and electrical hazards. It’s been expanded to, again, it’s been expanded to security and sustainability and all of that.
I also wanted to share, , you talked about the UL label that you see on products Everywhere. That is actually done through UL Solutions. We actually are three separate organizations. So UL Solutions does the conformity, the labels that you see everywhere. We have ul research Institute that does. Battery fires, testing, safety research on that.
We have dealt with they’ve called that group in when there was fires in the Boeing aircraft and they did root cause. They’ve dealt with a lot of issues with cell phone fires on planes and worked with the companies on things like that, as well as fire safety in the. The campaign about shutting your door shut the door before you snooze and have Fire Propagations change.
They’re the ones that did that research and have really implemented that campaign. And then I work for UL Standards and Engagement. So we are the ones that take safety science and put it into. . So a standard is that action. It is what something can be measured against. Like you said, a lot of times they’re product standards, many of them are product standards.
However, as high tech industries change and we need to look more at some systems and some system approaches, whether that is cybersecurity. Or autonomy. So they are unique in that aspect. Absolutely. Then versus a safety standard for a washer. Okay, great. So
Anthony: in terms of self-driving cars, are they ready now?
no. Yeah, like Fred’s talked in the past about the fire safety issues with electric vehicles and battery, things like that. Is that part, I guess take a step back? What is 4,600 Encompass? And I know I should know this and I’m sure Fred is disappointed at me for not
Deb: having it memorized
So it, it is truly a standard safety for the autonomy. The autonomy portion of the vehicle. So there are separate standards for, again, electric vehicle batteries, charging stations, all of that. This is truly the autonomy, the software portion of the vehicle. And the intention of this is when there is not a human in the loop.
So it is truly the everything you’ve considered within that autonomy. .
Anthony: So this is very cutting edge like this. Yeah. Because all the companies are, they don’t have an answer. They don’t have a, they have test products in the market.
Deb: And the fact that it’s cutting edge makes it challenging to develop a standard.
Yeah. Cause you don’t want to innovate you don’t wanna limit innovation. , but you also want to make sure that safety is addressed. And we feel like the approach of UL 4,600 balances that it really does allow companies for innovation, but it prompts them as a safety case for everything they need to consider to claim that something is safe.
Michael: and it’s, it’s not just we’re not just, I try to keep in mind, we’re not just talking about vehicles here. We’re talking about if it’s, a flying car would not be covered by UL 4,600, but an autonomous flying car would, is that correct?
Deb: It could. Could, right? It could. We are actually working on another standard to deal.
Uncured aerial vehicles, and the autonomy of that, because there are some more regulatory requirements and some other things like that. But absolutely the foundations of autonomy there, you could use that. Like you said, Michael, in the beginning. , a robot can use this. It doesn’t need to be just a vehicle right now.
When we started the first draft of that, we figured the biggest hazard would be the autonomy from a vehicle. So that is how we decided as a committee to limit it to vehicle vehicles for examples. And, pitfalls that are in there. Those kind of cases because a vehicle has so much interaction with the vulnerable population.
And so we started with the vehicle and as we update the standard, we look in expanding it. And our take now is that it will cover anything that’s meant on a road.
Fred: Disclosure here. We actually had a small part of developing UL 4,600 and a sad story. I’m the sort of person who used to go to the library and read encyclopedias just for fun.
So I claim that I have read the entirety of UL 4,600, which is probably one of three people who’ve actually done that. Deb is one of those. And Phil’s probably the other. So maybe I’m in the third. I may, there could be a fourth somewhere. . But Deb I think it’s important for the discussion to understand why you decided to use a use case or a safety case approach to UL 46 6 under, rather than just a monolithic group of statements that says, this is what you have to.
Deb: That’s a really good question, Fred. And again, full disclosure, Fred’s also part of my committee. So Fred has been in on some of the discussions. And the reason being, the main reason is that it is evolving. This industry is evolving so quickly and we need a standard and a standard approach out there.
It’s hard to define what safety is when there’s so many different technologies and different approaches, and I’m not sure if the committee worked for five years, if we went down the. Approach that you asked if we would still have a standard because everyone is looking at it differently. Their operational design domain areas are differently.
What they need and is different. So actually providing the structured argument, which Fred, that standard is a beast. It’s 300 pages plus, right? It is very robust. . But in that we were also able to put known pitfalls in here. So when you were looking at software, why not learn from the mistakes from another software?
Incident or learning. I know that when we first started going around and talking to the groups about different groups about the standard, there was a situation in the TS data that came up. Phil Cooman liked to say that there was a, some test data that was, I don’t know, 90 some odd percent accurate.
However, a hundred percent missed yellow and the d o t workers in Pennsylvania were yellow, so you really needed a way to evaluate things. We laugh now that we bet there is not a single piece of desk training test data out there that doesn’t have the color yellow marked and identified. A long-winded answer, Fred, but the reason we did that is because we felt like that is really the only way to wrap around autonomy.
And provide transparency and consistency in how you would evaluate safety.
Fred: Thanks. Thanks for that. And I want the listeners to know that one of the attractions of UL 4,600 plays to one of the defects of autonomous vehicles that we have articulated. Autonomous vehicles don’t have a soul. They don’t have a conscience.
They don’t have an ethical bias. And so what UL 4,600 sorry. My, that’s my dogs. So what UL 4,600 requires is that the entity developing the autonomous vehicle. Sit down and explain in human terms to human beings why these different aspects of the approach to autonomy are correct and safe and are, can be understood by other human beings who are in a position to address the engineering aspects of these considerations.
It’s really unique and wonderful that way. Every other stand that I know of simply looks at some technical item and says this is the way to do it. Whereas UL 4,600 in essence takes the technology out of the equation completely and says, okay, human beings on your side. This is what the implementation you’ve done looks like.
Tell us the independent third parties why this is. Number one, adequate, why number two is appropriate, and why number three that it’s safe. I think it’s a wonderful construct and I think that’s really needed in the industry and I think it goes a long way towards addressing a lot of those shortfalls we’ve seen in the autonomous vehicle.
So how do you think it’s gonna be used? I know there’s a difference between external use and internal use of the UL 4,600, meaning. External use would be a third party who is sitting in and looking at what’s going on in an auditor, if you will, versus internal use, which is somebody who is paid by the company to look at conformance to the UL 4,600 and address that.
What is it, what is that interaction like? What do you expect that to be?
Deb: That’s a really good question. I think with any new standard and new area, acceptance takes a while. I think that we know the companies that are sitting on these, this committee and paying attention they’re looking at this internally, whether they’re, I think it’s made a difference internally.
I believe even some public facing safety cases that Uber had a public safety case and aur. Innovations has a public facing safety case that they did internally, but they are, it’s on Aurora’s Innovations website. And it does not say that they’ve used 4,600. , but elements are all there. They have a safety case.
They have their claims, they have, like you said, Fred, in plain English. Why they believe that they can deploy a safe, autonomous vehicle. They’ll cause no harm. How they’ll deal with validations, how they’ll do all that. So I believe within time it. It’s going to continue to be expanded the use.
I have a lot of interest from outside of the US that is looking at the standard. I can share with you that I. China’s national committee is actually looking at adopting it their committee’s going through the document right now. I’ve spoken with the Apex Automotive group, which is Asian, Asian Pacific Economic, I don’t know the last thing, the last and spoke with them on UL 4,600.
Interest in Singapore and just in Thailand. So I think that it has, it’s got legs, right? But having a. A traditional third party certification label on autonomous system. I, you’re not gonna see a UL label on a car. It’s just, that’s just not how that’s going to be. And that’s not even how it’s set up because it’s more of a paper audit kind of thing.
So I think you’re gonna see more public facing safety cases for. But that’s just my crystal ball and it could be completely wrong.
Michael: And I, that sounds right to me because, my understanding of UL 4,600, although it’s not very great compared to Fred’s, suggest to me that this, the safety case process and the evaluation is continuous and ongoing.
So it doesn’t really lend itself to sticking a label on something and saying this is complete or this is done because there’s always the potential for. An unknown risk or something else to arise that needs to be addressed within the safety case.
Deb: And the beauty of that, you bring this up, up, is the beauty of our standards development process.
And this, the way the standard has been thought out is. , when you find this information, you can propose that back into the standard. So it’s it, it’s a continuous learning exercise. And we have already published, we started the activity and. 2019. We published in 2020. We published another edition in 2022, and we will publish the third edition in 2023.
So that tells you, with high tech, new evolving areas, you do wanna have the ability to revise your document at a frequency and address things as more people are using it.
Michael: And that’s also something that. We don’t see out of Nitsa, quite frankly. It would be very difficult for them with all of the regulations they’re required to follow and rulemakings and the time that goes to that.
It I, it’s almost impossible for an agency like that to keep up with this. The evolving technology and the new risks that we find out as they come in, because rulemaking doesn’t lend itself to being updated as technology changes on a weekly, daily, monthly basis. We’re talking about years before government standards can really have an impact as far as setting a minimum performance standard.
For vehicles and in this area, it’s going to require some, a new approach. I think if the government’s really going to have an impact in the next 20 years on autonomous vehicles. And I think, Fred and I are happy that the UL 4,600 and some other standards are going to be there to guide manufacturers and other participants in the industry as we move forward.
Deb: Yeah. That is the difference with regulations, right? And then, and that’s why most of these agencies prefer to point to a voluntary standard. And I think I’ve been even directed to do that whenever the case is possible. Because again, that is much easier for change as needed. And I’d like to point out that the eight.
agencies within d o T have set on our committee. They either are stakeholders or they’re have been voting members, so they are involved and follow along. .
Anthony: So how does this work if I’m I go out and I create some autonomous driving software and I want this, you owe 4,600. Is it that I’m just doing a self-assessment comparing against this?
Or am I submitting it to you and your team and they’re reviewing it and saying, Hey, you meet all these standards? Because I, I think you pointed out there’s not gonna be a UL sticker on a car or on, or maybe the boot up screen there won’t be, hey UL 4,600. So how does it work?
Is this strictly voluntary? I imagine, but,
Deb: okay, so I’ll answer a couple different things out of that question. The standards themselves are voluntary safety standards. You all standards are voluntary safety standards. The standard allows for independent independent self-assessment.
And the meaning of that is shouldn’t be within, if you’re in the engineering department, the assessment should not be done fr by, your director of engineering within that same way. It should be a, a. Group that was charged with safety evaluation or some kind of independence within there.
How the other thing, like how you would submit something, how I would be certified, that is all really conformity assessment and that’s not within my UL standards, develops an engagement. We developed standards. How something is certified or conformity to is really outside of my wheelhouse. Okay.
Fred: Are there any limits on how or when this could be used by manufacturers geographic political is it a worldwide standard that’s been, you talked about, is it a worldwide standard that’s been generally accepted as a worldwide standard, or is it still evolving?
Deb: That’s a good question. So the standard can be used worldwide. There are no limitations. In addition, our committee, which is the voting membership as well as our, which is around 30 ish people are. From around the world, there are a variety of participants and then we have an additional 200 plus stakeholders.
And those are also from around the world. Even when we set up task groups, a task group members are from a variety of countries, so it is intended to be used in internationally. It. Works well with the international existing international standards such as ISO 2 62, 62, or 21 4 48. Those can be used as part of your safety case argument up into UL 4,600.
So again, it is a worldwide application. I think the bigger issue is, , these aren’t ready for the road yet. So the usage and uptake of usage just really depends on how much more available the, these kind of cars are gonna be or trucking right. For a while. The, a lot more autonomy and focus has been on long haul trucking and doing that.
So that is why. the proposed change, and two will be in addition. Three, we’ll have some more examples and then, and on that for heavy duty trucking. So I think it’s kinda a wait and see on how the industry goes. But is the industry progresses? There’s a standard there so that can be evaluated for safety.
Fred: And Anthony in response to your flying cars. That was Michael. I know you want one. You live in New York. I know you want one, if 4,600 fuel, 4,600 had been made for flying cars, it would include a provision, for example, that would say, show how take off of the flying cars. Is safe for the surrounding pedestrians and service personnel.
Now, that would be a specific item for the and then the company would have to come back and say this is how we do it. We put up stanchions, we do this kind of thing. And people would say, yeah, that’s good enough for, that’s not good enough. But that’s a, an example of the limitation that would be applied to the flying cars.
But there’s still a lot of applicability about how the software is designed how things interact, how the management system acts with safety. You know that, that’s a long explanation, but I thought it might help Deb answer this question, which is, what’s the been the hardest part of this
Anthony: working with?
Deb: Yeah, Fred’s great. Fred’s great. He gives a voice. Let me just give a shout out for Fred. He gives a voice from the consumer safety that is needed in the group, right? So you need that voice. It makes everyone. focus on what’s ultimately important is the safeties of the individuals.
Fred: Thank you Deb.
I’m just a simple country boy trying to out a living in the big city. So that matters to
Anthony: me. He doesn’t distract conversations with the days of his youth, hot wiring cars or anything,
Deb: or. Nope, he hasn’t told that, but now I’ve got some ammo on him. .
Anthony: You should listen to prior episodes. We learned all sorts of interesting thing about Mr.
Deb: Oh, I’m going to go back further.
Anthony: So you mentioned that this isn’t ready yet. So have you had a chance to go in any of these, automated vehicles? Have you tried a cruise or a way. or you’re just like, no, I know this stuff isn’t right, . Or is that an unfair political question to ask you
Deb: I have not, but it’s not because I wouldn’t want to. I just I live in the Raleigh Durham area of North Carolina, and that’s not really a area where they’re being tested. Fair enough. And course they’re hiding it from me.
Michael: Wow. And us . .
Anthony: Okay. So what so are the existing companies that are the Waymo’s and are they actively part of this process?
Are they sitting on this board or committee?
Deb: Again, Wemo. I, so Wemo is not on my committee, I can’t remember who all is on the stakeholder list, but active members are for sure. Like I said, Aurora Innovation, they do. , a lot of the software that is out there, they have a lot of agreements with other groups on that.
I thought I had. Oh yeah. I do have, so I have , players like Intel sitting at the table. I have
Anthony: and Intel for listeners. They’re behind the mobile eye, is that the system? They’re mobile. Mobile I, yeah. The vision system that they’re using it is, I think a combination of cameras and lidar.
Deb: Yeah. And so our committees really are, they’re balanced. They’re a balanced group of individuals we call the producers. Those are gonna be our software people that do the autonomy. We have some test bodies we have within the supply chain. So that is, is going to be strictly lidar. And like Bosch and some other individuals like that.
Then we have general interests, which are where our academia, so we have quite a few people from academia on our committee. We have like I said before, Previously, some representatives from different agencies within the Department of Transportation. We immune the US Consumer Product Safety Commission sitting at the table.
We have some commercial users. We have some international delegates from Korea, China, and Singapore sitting on the table. And then we actually have some state regulators, like Pennsylvania Department of Transportation sitting at the table. And then we have, I wanna share the countries that are involved.
So we have Korea, Australia, Canada, China. . Okay. I don’t have, all the countries have, within Europe, there’s quite a few in Europe, india, Japan, uae, the uk and the us. So it really is an international mix of of voices to the, to this document.
Anthony: Okay. What’s the state of automated vehicles around the world?
Is it everybody’s pretty much at the same experiment geofenced way? Or is there anybody out there being like, no, let’s go.
Deb: I think it’s about the same. I think when it comes to trucking, from what I’ve heard and I’m not someone that you should probably quote on this, I know when it comes to autonomous trucking there are some countries that are looking at a 2025. la launch date on autonomous trucking. I know when I was in Japan recently, that was their goal.
So I think some countries are looking at, again, trucking sooner than maybe deployment of vehicles. I think some of the Countries are looking at the opportunity that an autonomous vehicle can provide within their congested. Land mass that it versus individuals having a car that the autonomous ride sharing combination can provide within efficiencies and space and a goal to zero.
Emissions kind of thing if you combine that with an electric vehicle. So I think that there are pockets around that are looking at that more than others, but no one’s like running. To the top of my mind there, Anthony, that, oh my gosh, this country’s absolutely way ahead of everyone else. I don’t think so.
I think you’re okay. Seeing a bunch of test cases all over that are continuing to occur.
Anthony: Great. And one thing you mentioned, you said there was they weren’t tracking the color or yellow and all the Pennsylvania workers are wearing yellow. Are they tracking deer in the system? . The reason I asked this, the Washington Post had this amazing article about auto safety and animal strikes, and it said they like analyzed over a million animal strikes.
90% of them were deer. So what are you doing to get rid of deer off of the road? And then is this part of the standard? Can we just get rid of deer ,
Deb: Living in North Carolina? I’d love that. I, I think my husband and I have both hit deer. I know that the test data. From everything I’ve seen.
They look at animals, right? They look at, again, it’s part of that safety case of what would you encounter on a road? Would it be a deer? Would it be a dog? Could, if you’re going in a subdivision, could it be a ball? Rolls? Rolls across and then it’s a small child that darts, right? They have to look at all of that kind of Incidents that can occur and how to, map that and define that in their training data.
And so that’s not. Like a checklist. Have you do. This is more in their evidence that they’re going to provide on why they’re safe
Michael: enough. And I was thinking about that in the context of, another type of vehicle that we might not really consider here too often, but the low speed delivery vehicles that.
They’re designing, and I believe even neuro is one of the first to receive approval from Nitsa for something like that where, , you’re going to be approaching, homes, businesses that have pets and other things. And you need to build a safety case around, how you’re gonna interact with a dog or a child that approaches the vehicle.
Anthony: Oh, so the dog won’t be chasing a mailman anymore. It’ll be chasing an automated mailman. .
Michael: Yes. And if you’ve seen my dog go after the robot vacuum in my house, you understand why we need these things ?
Fred: I think, cause there’s a related problem that we did address and you all, 4,600, and my memory’s a little hazy, but with an automated vehicle, you have a requirement in any vehicle, any motor vehicle, you have a requirement to.
Exchange information and if necessary, contact police if there’s a property damage incident or if there’s a collision that involves, another human being or another vehicle. You could, there’s a real technical problem though, which is how does the vehicle know that it has. Contacted something that requires reporting and additional action versus just ran over a pothole.
If you look at the vibration spectrum associated with those two events, they might be very similar. So that’s, that’s a challenge for the designers to come forward and say, okay, we understand. the significance of this. We understand that we need to know the difference between anani an object of no consequence and another object that does have consequence.
And we know what to do in response to those different kinds of actions.
Deb: And we put a task group together that had individuals that were First responders, emergency responders, things like that. And actually had that perspective brought in too. And so we beefed up the areas, like you said, on on incidents so that can’t fall through the cracks on your safety case.
And that’s an example of. Use and thought and what have we missed the first time around and why it’s important to continually update the standard as we learn more. And as we consider scenarios that maybe we haven’t considered, how
Anthony: do you get these test cases and can the public submit them?
Cuz I’ve got a bunch where I’m convinced there’s no way automated driving can handle these situations.
Deb: There no. The test cases are anyone can submit, Hey, have you, does the standard address this? Or, I have a proposed change to the standard and that can be submitted through UL’s website.
We have an online tool and but the scenarios are usually talked about through the committee. These case scenarios and we talk about. , if they seem like they can happen frequently enough, they’re either put in and as an example that you should or must address, or they’re known pitfall that you have to avoid.
And so that is really the area that we’ve really been. Modifying the most. There’s been some cases, the standard in itself is unique too, in the fact that it has , mandatory required. Highly recommend it and recommended. And the difference between, I know your question’s gonna be, what’s the difference between mandatory and required?
So mandatory is absolutely no choice. You have to address, This issue in your safety case, recommend or required means you have to address it unless your system doesn’t do it. So if your system, say you have an autonomy system that doesn’t use ai, your. you would have to address why it doesn’t apply to you and how you address it would be saying you do not, do you do not use AI here?
And then again, highly recommend it. That’s where you’re gonna find a whole lot of these examples and things like that, and then recommend it. And so some of this, as we’ve been looking at and using the standard, we’re like, you know what? This needs to move up a level. These requirements, you know what we think it’s a bigger hazard.
The committee thinks it’s a bigger hazard than we initially thought and it has moved up and a few have moved down. And again, this is a learning process. So not only just adding more content, But thinking about the risk and how much of a risk each of those are and how they move up on that mandatory required, highly recommended or recommended scale.
And that itself is very unique too, because I,
Fred: I can, and I gotta applaud you that requires a lot of tact and diplomacy. Cause a lot of those discussions can get very. .
Deb: They can. I’m
Anthony: gonna, I’m gonna submit my test case scenario. I had to drive my son to JFK last week and there’s a section of roadway where two roads merge and they eliminate any lane markers.
Deb: For a good quarter
Anthony: mile. All of a sudden I felt I was in Manila and it was just a free for all. There was a good quarter mile stretch where it was, I was on a three-way lane highway. I’m pretty sure the one merging next to me was another three lane, and we were all just kinda ah, I don’t know where you’re going.
I don’t know if this is two lanes now, if this is three, do we go up to six and we all just kinda worked it out. I don’t imagine there’s any car right now. I wouldn’t trust an automated vehicle to work it out. I didn’t trust the guy in the truck next to me to work it out cuz he was pretty much trying to get on top of my car.
Fred: Did you drive through Ethiopia on your way to
Deb: jfk? ,
Anthony: wow. A section of queens is, it literally, like I remember leaving the airport in Manila a long time ago, and the highway went from four lanes to two lanes, to six lanes to one lane toward a dirt track. Briefly. Maybe it was just that cab driver, he could have just been messing with me.
It was a patrol.
Michael: But I just wondering is there, we were talking about autonomy here, but we’ve also discussed previously, I believe, the application of the safety case process or format to some of the, I guess lower level technologies, more the stuff that’s on cars now, crash avoidance features like automatic emergency braking, lane keeping, lane departure blind spot warnings, all that stuff that we’re seeing on cars now, could manufacturers be using UL 4,600, the process for that?
Or is there another standard that might apply to those vehicles or something that maybe y’all are thinking about in the future? Because there’s still, nitsa is still. Has a loose regulatory structure around those technologies, and we’re still seeing areas where, you know, some of the technology like pedestrian automatic emergency braking, for example, isn’t working as great at night or at higher speed, high speeds.
And then other areas where, we think it’d be really beneficial to safety, to protect folks. In the circumstances is there any I guess I’m asking is there any, is there a use here for those technologies or is there, another standard that might need to be developed in an area?
Deb: Interesting question. From conversations I’ve had with other committee members, this could be used. On any of those level three kind of assist or three plus kind of thing, right? That automated assist, you can use that same approach. It is a, it’s a structured way to look at assessing all of your risk and all your scenarios and have you.
can you argue sufficiently and have the claims that this really works? I think it can be used that way. Right now, the scope, if you were applying directly, the scope says for intended for no human interaction, but you know what? Lane Assistant, pedestrian staff, and that is intended for.
Assisting the human right. They’re obviously ultimately still responsible and in control, but you could make that leap. So yeah, it is usable. The process is solid. Your methodology is solid. Are we marketing the standard for that?
Michael: No. . Yeah. And I was just wondering, we’ve seen things like that have arisen in automatic emergency breaking, like phantom breaking incidents and things that, we think if this, if there were, if they had been following a well-written standard, those are things they would’ve considered in the design portion that might possibly have been eliminated in the manufacturing part.
If they were building a safety case for. the tip, the unin, what happens if, say, a sensor for the a e b detects an object that may or may not be there. There might be some sort of designed, or, at least some type of, maybe we’ve talked about sensor fusion or other ways to have a backup knowledge of that potential object in the car’s way.
There’s, , there’s gotta be a way to avoid this phantom breaking incidence. And I think that the it, because they’re causing problems. For following drivers and other people. So I think that, if manufacturers were creating safety performance indicators that tracked things like false braking incidents and things like that would be an area where they could be, building the technology so that we don’t see those incidents in the future.
Deb: And I, so I do know if you were looking at Lidar specific right. Within that type of sensor. I’m working on the standard right now that is more of a. Product type standard for the lidar itself, because again, if you’re out there in this vehicle and you’re dependent on Yar and it breaks y
Michael: y your
Deb: car is not going to function how it needs to, so I’m working on a standard developing, drafting that right now it’s called U L 47.
In addition, I know there are activities within ISO that I’ve been coordinating with that are looking at performance of those LIDAR type sensors. So I do know there’s an international standards activity and I don’t remember the number but that is occurring. And sensors is going to continue to be a hot topic that needs more and more development as sensors are being used all over the place, whether it’s on the vehicle, whether it’s on the roadway because you do need that roadway and you need them vehicle communications and all kinds of stuff like that.
So I know there are activities within. , my agency as well as, I know s AE has some activities with vehicle to vehicle standards and things like that. So again, as technology’s involving, is these are getting more rampant. There’s a need for safety standards out there. Absolutely. And the thing that all of us try to do within this space is not duplicate, which are really hard to coordinate and not duplicate because that does not help anyone.
Fred: Are there organizations that are developing parallel standards that are operating within their own stove pipe? Or is the whole regulatory community tied together sufficiently I know i e is developing a standard, SA is developing a bunch of standards. ISO is doing what they do. I don’t know anything about Asian authorities, but perhaps you.
Deb: Regulatory is definitely separate and on their path. We know that just because a vehicle is purchased in one jurisdiction doesn’t mean it’s not, Shipped all around the world. These are not, US space only cars or people get transferred to move their car over to another country and things like that.
So I think for the community, having consistent standards, students worldwide will help in that transference. , are there other standards that are being developed? Oh, yes, there are, but the ones that I’m aware of, Fred, like i e and even the ones that have been like I said previously, iso that some of those activities and that we can work together on those, they’re not conflicting.
They can be used. Into UL 4,600. UL 4,600. It’s really the most comprehensive one that’s out there. So they work well together, but we feel like UL 4,600 is really the comprehensive, only comprehensive standard in this space. If you talk about SAE standards in that I, UL has a memorandum of understanding with s sae.
Concerning you all 4,600 and how we can work together and not them not conflict with our standard. I sit on their a red committee on road. Automated driving committee as a liaison for UL 4,600, as well as their trucking committee. And they are on my my committees also. So again, the standards community tries.
To work together as much as possible.
Fred: Oh, that’s great. Yeah, cuz Anthony wants to take his self-driving car to Canada and he is afraid of getting stopped at the border because , it’ll be incompatible.
Anthony: I’d like to clarify earlier Fred said he knew nothing about Asian authorities. , let’s return to your early twenties.
You spent that month in Thailand.
Deb: Anyways, it’s a different kinda authority, huh? . That’s true.
Anthony: What’s your kind of hope for the future? Or what’s, what scares you about this at night? What do you, are you more optimistic or pessimistic about this stuff or? I assume you have to be optimistic.
You’re the chairperson of the group who are optimistic. I’d be.
Deb: I’m optimistic. I, are they ready for the primetime road? No. Next year? No. Could I tell you what the timeframe is? No. But I’m optimistic that those cleared out there that are developing that. Are well aware that there are standards out there, and I think that moves the whole industry into a safer perspective.
So I’m very optimistic of that. I’m optimistic. I intend, I’m on the last stages of consensus on adding. The autonomous trucking in Dul 4,600. I probably have that published if all goes well. It’s out for its last little step right now no later than April. I’m optimistic that there’s a.
Potential in that area of trucking that could deal with trucking shortages, supply chain, all of that. If we looked at autonomous trucking, again, there are still some hurdles that need to Happen. We know that there is, the communication, there are dead spots all over the place. I still go, I’m baffled on my phone and I’m having directions and I’m in the middle of nowhere and I have no more G p s.
That’s all gonna have to infrastructurally. A lot of things have to happen before this can be a reality too. But again, I’m very optimistic on the technology and the applications. What makes sense and what comes first. I feel like as that technology’s changing and what’s happening, we have a strong safety standard that they can’t look to, to guide for guidance.
Anthony: That’s great. That makes me feel optimistic that there’s people like you and Fred working and putting this stuff out there. But I’d also like to point out to listeners, I think you hit on something briefly that for anyone who gets, thinks, oh, this stuff is already, it’s all here today. Google Maps a couple weeks ago, mine was set to walk directions while I was driving, and that should have known that I was not walking at 60 miles per hour.
Okay. So if we’re at like, something very that. There’s no way we’re, you’re gonna have some cars drive itself no matter what that South African man claims. I don’t know. Do we have anything else
Michael: or are we, I, I was just gonna say, I think our first question for autonomous.
Vehicle developers, that who’ve claiming to have a product they can put on the road, as have you, have you followed UL 4,600? Do you have your safety case? Do you have something ready to show the public that shows you’ve mitigated all the potential risks at least, and thought them all through at least the ones that are known and have you prepared for unknown risks.
There it’s a. It’s, it really answers not only questions that every manufacturer should have before they’re putting things on the road, but it would answer a lot of the questions the consumers have depending on how transparent manufacturers are with, their performance indicators and other things that make up their safety case.
That could. , UL 4,600 provides a path for consumer acceptance in many ways. As well as, the type of rigorous process we wanna see manufacturers go through before they put these things on the road.
Fred: Deb, you’ve spent a lot of time, money, and effort putting you on 4,600 together.
I’ll ask for an opinion. , do you think it’s possible for any independent vehicle manufacturer to come to an equivalent safety standard instead of using UL 4,600? Or is it an absolute minimum criterion for vehicles to assert their safety?
Deb: I, I.
It’s my personal opinion. My personal opinion is that we had a bunch of a diverse
group of experts that came to the table and really thought long and harm what baseline minimum should be there for. Type of product, right? We use the best minds, we use diverse stakeholders, and I personally believe that if you wanted to be on the road, that you would be looking at following this standard to make your product safe.
Fred: I agree, but. Yeah, thank you. Thank you for putting UL 4,600 together, and thank you for letting me be a part of that.
Deb: Oh, thank you. Like I said, great voice at the table, Fred. We need that consumer perspective.
Anthony: Thanks for being our guest today. Yeah, we look forward to 20 years from now of implementing you all 4,600 as a flag of cab and it decides, thrown over my foot and thinks it was a pothole.
I wanna, I
Deb: wanna see, you’re gonna be in your hover vehicle at that
Anthony: point, right? Going to Canada. Apparently.
Fred: I wanna see that UL sticker
Deb: on the.
Anthony: I was thinking about, I think in the door jam. I think there’s a UL sticker on my car right now. I think there might be. I don’t know what that was referring to. , it’s not 4,600, obviously not
No, there are many components. There are many components that can be third party certified within your vehicle. However, it would not be, how do you put. How you put a mark on software anyway, that’s
Anthony: You can just, no one’s gonna see it. . Yeah, that’s the, or it’s gonna be a very long boot up screen.
All right. Again thanks for being our guest. Thanks listeners for checking us out. And I guess if you wanna read UL 4,600 and join the Elite three you could you get, it
Deb: could absolutely on. Our standards are available for free to read. You can’t download it for free, but you go to shop.
Dot com, shop ul standards.com and you can hit UL 4,600. You register and you can read it for free. That sounds great.
Fred: If any of our listeners would like to ask a question, should they come through us or would you like to have them contact you directly?
Deb: Either way is fine.
Anthony: Okay. Can we have your home address, home phone number,
Deb: or an email?
Yeah, Debra, d e b o r a h dot prince, p r i n c e ul.org.
Anthony: You’re gonna want me to edit that part out?
Deb: All right. I didn’t give the phone number. I can spam filter on that other stuff. .
Anthony: Great. Thank you. Until next week everybody. Bye-bye.