T3e Webinar Overview

Are Autonomous Vehicles Safe? Understanding What’s Already Here and What Needs to Happen

View Webinar: link to this webinar's archive materials

Date: Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Time: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM EST
Cost: All T3e webinars are free of charge
PDH: 1.0 View PDH Policy

T3e Webinars are brought to you by the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) ITS Joint Program Office (JPO). References in this webinar to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. DOT.


The seminar will cover recently concluded and ongoing projects related to safety and regulatory concerns for the expanding market of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs). The work presented has been conducted within the past year at the RiSA2S Research Center of San José State University, a multi-disciplinary innovation center for the Risk and Safety Assessment of Autonomous Systems. The activities of the lab are aimed at improving safety and better informing regulatory agencies in their recommendations for the certification process of autonomous systems. In particular, the seminar will delve into three topics of current interest:

  1. An analysis of current AV accident statistics based on the data provided by the California Department of Motor Vehicles;
  2. An examination of triggers and contributory factors of disengagements of the autonomous technology that controls the car; and
  3. An overview of current issues related to driver’s reactions to disengagements when collaboration is expected (e.g., Level 2 and 3 AVs) and presentation of ongoing human-in-the-loop study.

Learning Objectives

The purpose of this webinar is for the audience to:

  • Learn about AVs’ safety and current accidents statistics;
  • Learn about the available data coming from field testing in California;
  • Learn about regulatory challenges and what is required to move forward; and
  • Learn about state-of-the art studies related to human-machine interfaces.

Target Audiences

Anyone interested in AVs Technology will enjoy the seminar. The material presented is also suitable for audiences that do not have a previous technical background in AVs (e.g., undergraduate students in higher education institutions and professionals looking to enter the AV field for the first time). At the same time, professionals that are working in the field will appreciate the different strands presented in relation to this most current AVs research.


Dr. Francesca Favaro, Assistant Professor, San José State University
Francesca Favaro Dr. Favaro is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aviation and Technology of San José State University, in California. In 2016 she founded the RiSA2S lab, which deals with Risk and Safety Assessment of Autonomous Systems such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and self-driving cars. Her interests are currently focused on the safe integration of autonomous vehicles within the U.S., with a particular focus on bridging the gap between the technology world and the current regulatory panorama. She earned a PhD and MS in Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an MS and BS in Space Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Dr. Favaro serves as Research Associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute of San José and on the Board of Directors of the Aero Club of Northern California. She is an FAA certified Advanced Ground Instructor, a certified Remote Pilot for commercial operations, and is currently pursuing a private pilot certificate.


Sky Eurich, Graduate Research Assistant, San José State University
Sky Eurich Sky Eurich is a graduate student in the Human Factors and Ergonomics program at San José State University. He currently conducts research for the Risk and Safety Assessment of Autonomous Systems lab at San José State and for the Training and Cognition lab within the Human Systems Integration Division at NASA Ames. In the future, he would like to continue working within human systems integration in order to promote safety and efficiency.

Nazanin Nader, Graduate Research Assistant, San José State University
Nazanin Nader Nazanin Nader is pursuing her Master’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering at San José State University. She joined the RiSA2S lab in February 2016, where she began helping with the design of experiment, gathering, and analysis of the data from the descriptive reports in AVs Safety with the main focus on Human-Machine Interactions. In the future, she would like to continue with the research in Human-Machine Interactions with more focus on human subject research.

Syeda Rizvi, Undergraduate Research Assistant, San José State University
Syeda Rizvi Syeda Rizvi is a third year undergraduate student studying Electrical Engineering at San José State University. At the RiSA2S lab her research has focused on a simulation-based project that analyzes driver response times to disengagements of the AVs technology. Autonomous systems are being developed to make human life easier and more efficient, which stemmed her interest in them. In the future Syeda would like to focus more into hardware-software trade-off issues for semi-autonomous vehicles.


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