Aurora Innovation Forms Expert Advisory Board Focused on Driverless Safety


Aurora Innovation Inc. formed a committee of experts to advise on security issues and detailed its own security efforts with an internal self-assessment, as the autonomous vehicle technology start-up based in the Silicon Valley is trying to boost consumer and regulatory confidence in driverless vehicles.

The Safety Advisory Board will include external professionals from fields such as aviation safety, insurance, medicine and automotive safety to provide advice and recommendations, the company announced on Thursday. Members include Shailen Bhatt, CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America; Dave Carbaugh, former chief pilot for flight operations safety at Boeing Co.; and Jeff Runge, former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The board aligns with Aurora CEO Chris Urmson’s oft-repeated goal of delivering the benefits of autonomous driving technology safely, quickly and widely. As the company grows and rolls out autonomous trucks in Texas, it is taking steps to bring more people into the fold and detail its safety culture.

“We can save lives while increasing the safety and efficiency on our roads,” Urmson wrote in the introduction to the 55-page Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment Report. “But all of these opportunities depend on one concept: trust. Our technology must be trusted. Our business must be trustworthy.

The report details Aurora’s use of lidar, the company’s virtual test suite, and how vehicle operators are trained.

An example: The phrase “grounding the fleet” refers to the act of ceasing vehicle testing operations. All Aurora employees are empowered to bring the fleet to a standstill for safety reasons at any time, which new employees learn in their first week.


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