ASQ RRD webinar series: Safety Technology Advancements for Autonomous Cars; Prospective of Manufacturing, Regulatory and Society

ASQ RRD webinar series: Safety Technology Advancements for Autonomous Cars; Prospective of Manufacturing, Regulatory and Society

Thu, Sep 10, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Presenter: Mohammad Pourgolmohammad, Ph.D, PE, ASQ CRE, CSSBB, CMQ/OE

Autonomous vehicle (AV) navigation technology has been the prime focus of the most recent technology innovations. However, the industry’s advances on the issues of safety, risk, and reliability have been slow. Several accidents and near misses have already occurred, the mean distance driven to an unsafe condition, near miss or accident has been far shorter than the conventional road vehicles.  The concerns over safety, software reliability, security, hacking/misuse, and licensing are mounting. Given the vacuum in systematic safety, risk, and reliability considerations in this rapidly evolving technology, the convergence of many related resources involving academia, autonomous vehicle industry, insurance, and associated government agencies would be necessary to identify and address the safety technologies, society/policy, and regulatory developments needed. This presentation will give an overview on AV systems prospectives from i. reliability from manufacturing, ii. society/ethics, iii. regulatory and compliance, and iv. readiness of safety/risk analytical and simulation tools/techniques. From reliability and manufacturing, the presentation will focus on i. duty cycle and design life implications resulting from the AV cars usage rate increase, ii) reliability enhancements via redundancy architectures, and iii) prognostic health management of AV’s critical systems. From regulatory and authority required accident reporting, state of California (CA) is the only state requiring AV accident/risk experience be publicly reported. Other states permit AV testing with no reporting requirements. Social response that will likely emerge should autonomous cars be introduced.  Like other risky technologies, autonomous vehicles will contain embedded values.  By their decisions, engineers, scientists, designers, regulators, and developers all make choices that implicitly or explicitly enhance or discount certain cultural and societal values.  Thus, the technology will be inevitably be the subject of political discourse and debate. From safety/risk analysis tools, the questions arise like  “what is ‘acceptable risk?” and, do AVs need to be “as safe as” or “safer than” traditional vehicles? To answer these questions, the specifications of the autonomous vehicles (AVs) is analyzed with respect to their safety, reliability and security (SRS). A challenge in risk analysis is to identify everything that can go wrong. How can we deal with the unknown unknowns? There are various assessment techniques currently in place. Many of the current methods can still play a part in supporting SRS of autonomous systems; however, many areas require new modelling techniques to be developed. 


Dr. Mohammad Pourgol-Mohammad is a safety/reliability analyst in multidisciplinary systems analysis with Keurig Green Mountain and Associate Professor (adj) of Mechanical engineering at University of Maryland and was an Associate Professor of Reliability Engineering, with Sahand University of Technology (SUT). He received his Ph.D in Reliability Engineering from University of Maryland (UMD), and holds one M.Sc degree in Nuclear Engineering and another in Reliability Engineering from UMD. His undergraduate degree was in Electrical
Engineering. Dr Pourgol-Mohammad has more than 18 year of work experience including research and teaching in safety applications and reliability engineering at various institutions including Johnson Controls, Sahand University of Technology, FM Global, Goodman Manufacturing, UMD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Zagreb-Croatia. He is a senior member of ASQ, ASME (currently ASME Safety Engineering and Risk/Reliability Analysis Division (SER2D) Chair), ANS and member of several technical committees and a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in Nuclear Engineering in States of Massachusetts. He is a certified reliability engineer (ASQ CRE), certified six sigma Black Belt (CSSBB) and Manager of Quality/Organization Excellence (ASQ CMQ/OE). He has authored more than 150 papers and reports on his researches and filed one US patent-pending. His efforts have been recognized with several awards.

Picture © B. Poncelet
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