Putting safety first: Aurora's Safety Playbook

Putting safety first: Aurora's Safety Playbook

Commitment to safety

Safety is at the core of everything we do — from how we test and develop to the culture we create and the products we deploy.

The Aurora Driver will make transportation safer, more efficient, and more accessible. We can only deliver these benefits if the public and our partners trust it and trust us. That's why it matters to us that the public understands that safety is a foundational principle behind our work.

Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment

Our Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment (VSSA) shares how Aurora is building the technology that will safely power self-driving vehicles and how we prioritize safety in everything we do.

Safety matters

Our work will reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities on our roads. The status quo is not acceptable and we are committed to doing something about it.

Depth and breadth of experience

Safety team  We are multi-disciplinary experts – people with decades of experience in self-driving and automotive safety and those from safety-critical industries like aerospace, medicine, and nuclear power. Our safety team works across the organization to ensure we are developing and deploying our technology safely and building a strong safety culture.

Safety Advisory Board We leverage the expertise of industry-leading external safety experts from fields including aviation, trucking, insurance, emergency and trauma medicine, automotive safety, and academia.

Holistic approach to safety

Infolist Items

  • We cultivate a culture of safety by ensuring everyone operates with integrity and every employee knows that safety is critical to every decision the company makes. Each employee is responsible and empowered to protect and support Aurora’s safety culture. An example of our inclusive safety culture is our grounding policy – all employees, from founders to engineers to vehicle operators and technicians, are empowered to ground the fleet if they identify something they consider a safety risk.

Transparency and collaboration

Working together It is our responsibility to support the public's understanding of the work we’re doing, and how that translates into a safer world. We engage and share information about our work and our progress to develop a partnership with the public, government, and public safety officials.

We host educational events, join collaborative platforms like the NHTSA AV TEST initiative, and partner with groups like Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE). As we expand into new areas, we partner closely with state and local officials.

Setting industry standards It’s not enough to break new ground alone — when it comes to safety at Aurora, we are pushing the entire industry forward. As self-driving technologies advance, we are focused on collaborative technical efforts to rapidly develop and publish consensus best practices and standards, which drives the safe development and deployment of the technology. To establish these best practices and standards, we are an active participant in multiple voluntary standard setting groups like SAE, the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC), IEEE, and Underwriters’ Laboratories. Stemming from these initiatives, we then work to implement these standards within our organization.

Safety is a team sport. It's the responsibility of everyone at Aurora.

Developing and deploying safely

Vehicle operators Our vehicle operators are full-time employees and key to our overall approach to safe testing on public roads. They participate in an intensive training program which includes classroom assignments, defensive driver education, and evaluation to confirm mastery of basic and specialized driving skills. 

Virtual Testing Suite Our robust Virtual Testing Suite allows us to develop our technology safer and faster than more traditional approaches that emphasize on-road miles. Through our sophisticated simulation tools, we train the Aurora Driver to handle any situation on the road. In one day, we are able to “drive” tens of thousands of hours in simulation, which allows us to constantly improve the Aurora Driver, handle increasingly complex scenarios safely, and optimize our time on public roads.

Next-generation sensing The Aurora Driver can only operate safely if it accurately knows where things are and how fast they are moving. Our industry-leading sensing suite includes custom-designed, long-range, high-resolution cameras, radar, and lidar that allow the Aurora Driver to see and track its surroundings and operate safely at any speed. 

Safety metrics We use a variety of safety metrics to track the performance of the Aurora Driver throughout the development and testing processes.

Follow our journey

Check out our Aurora Autonomy blog for the latest news on our team, our technology, and our progress as we chart the course that will deliver self-driving technology to the world.