Keynote: Jack Weast – Responsibility Sensitive Safety


The rules of the road today are all focused around one key element: drivers. Licensing, insurance, traffic laws — everything assumes vehicles are operated under the control of a human. For driverless vehicles, this presents a dilemma: How can you tell which car is at fault in an accident? More importantly: How can self-driving and human-driven cars co-exist safely?

There is little argument that machines will be better drivers than humans. Yet there is very real risk that self-driving vehicles will never realize their life-saving potential if we can’t agree on standards for safety. Intel has proposed a model we call Responsibility Sensitive Safety (RSS), offering a safe and scalable approach to consider. We believe that it is important for the automotive industry to collaboratively establish a methodology and standard for safety validation in partnership with global standards–bodies and regulators. In this session we will dive into RSS, a formal, mathematical model for ensuring that a self-driving vehicle operates in a responsible manner under different conditions. We will explain how RSS provides specific and measurable parameters for the human concepts of responsibility and caution and defines a “safe state,” where the autonomous vehicle cannot cause an accident, no matter what action is taken by other vehicles. We will also talk about how the industry can collaborate to help put these types of safety standards in place to ensure the greater acceptance and deployment of autonomous vehicles.


Jack Weast is a Sr. Principal Engineer and the Chief Systems Architect for Automated Driving Solutions at Intel.  In his nearly 20 year career at Intel, Jack has built a reputation as a change agent in new industries with significant technical contributions to a wide range of industry-first products and standards in complex heterogeneous high performance compute solutions in markets that are embracing high performance computing for the first time.  With an End to End Systems perspective, Jack combines a unique blend of embedded product experience with a knack for elegant Software and Systems design that will accelerate the adoption of Autonomous Driving.  Jack is the co-author of “UPnP: Design By Example”, is an Adjunct Professor at Portland State University and is the holder of 23 patents with dozens pending.