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Advancing the Use of Simulation in ADS Safety Assurance

By Joseph Kolly, Ph.D.

MITRE is working across the transportation community to accelerate the safe deployment and acceptance of automated driving systems (ADS) through our Digital Proving Ground test environment.

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The rapid development of ADS holds potential for increased safety, mobility, accessibility, and efficiency. However, realizing these benefits requires responsible deployment of the technology, with safety as the primary consideration. This includes safe testing of these vehicles, where simulation plays a crucial role.

On-road testing of ADS presents significant safety risks. Many stakeholders believe simulation methods should play a larger role in developing the ADS safety case. Simulation offers several advantages, including cost-effectiveness, safety, and scalability. However, there is reluctance to use simulation for safety assurance, due to concerns about the quality of inputs and the proprietary nature of ADS.

MITRE’s Digital Proving Ground (DPG) provides a solution that addresses these challenges. DPG is a secure, accessible virtual test environment developed using open, industry-standard practices. It allows users to test their ADS in a variety of scenarios and offers unique efficiencies by providing a common resource and community of practice.

Despite sharing features with other simulation test environments, DPG’s openness and accessibility set it apart. It also lowers barriers to ADS entry by democratizing access to startups, sub-system developers, and researchers.

DPG can safely accelerate ADS deployment by reducing safety risk for all stakeholders. It allows for thorough testing and analysis under specific or generic conditions, demonstrating safety performance while protecting intellectual property.

MITRE envisions DPG as a national resource for ADS testing, accessible to all stakeholders. As a trusted third party, MITRE has a long history of securing and analyzing sensitive transportation data. Together, we can accelerate the safe deployment and acceptance of ADS, maintaining U.S. leadership in this transformative technology.