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Safety guidelines for autonomous mobility and delivery on the Uber Platform

September 7 / US

Uber’s Vision for Autonomous Mobility & Delivery

Uber’s mission is to reimagine the way the world moves for the better, and autonomous vehicles (AVs) are part of that vision. We expect AVs to increasingly contribute to Uber’s business over time, as part of a hybrid network featuring AVs operating alongside conventional vehicles. This hybrid network approach has the potential to expand transportation and delivery access, further promote safety, and unlock new use cases. We intend to ensure Uber continues to provide the best mobility and delivery offerings in a future with AVs.

Our approach is to partner with autonomous vehicle developers, fleet operators, and cities to help connect consumers with AV services that:

  • Create new opportunities and improve productivity for our customers and partners
  • Meet own own robust expectations for security, privacy, and safety
  • Promote equity and positive environmental outcomes in our communities

Standing for Safety

When it comes to safety here at Uber, our work is never done. Safety is a major consideration for all transportation types, and we take our role in promoting safety in mobility and delivery seriously. As we introduce additional autonomous vehicle partners onto our platform and into your communities, safety will be at the fore.

Our partners develop and build the technology necessary to power autonomous vehicles with safety in mind. Uber has also implemented a comprehensive safety program, in which we review potential partners’ approaches to safety before they deploy and operate on the Uber network across mobility and delivery use cases.


Safety Program for Autonomous Mobility & Delivery

For non-autonomous vehicles, federal regulatory standards govern vehicle design and state and local rules govern vehicle fleet operations. Outside of a few places, regulatory frameworks governing the commercial operations of AVs remain under development.

While regulations continue to evolve, Uber can take its own steps to develop an understanding of how our potential partners plan on approaching AV safety for any operations involving the Uber platform.

As such, it is the goal of the AM&D Safety Program to implement a safety framework that:

  • defines a comprehensive and pragmatic strategy for understanding how potential partners would approach the safety of any operations on the Uber platform,
  • creates a consistent assessment process, rooted in applicable industry safety standards and best practices, 
  • establishes the baseline for automated and& autonomous robots and vehicles to deploy and continue operation on the Uber network across mobility and delivery use cases.

The program is organized into three phases: first, planning, then demonstration, and ultimately operation, with clear reporting on safety performance. This program identifies the AV fleet partner obligations that are expected to be met each step of the way.


Safety Plan Assessment Framework

Although the use of a Safety Plan in Uber’s safety program is consistent across operators, we recognize that partner approaches to safety may vary significantly from one to the next. As a result, the Uber AM&D safety assessment does not prescribe a single safety standard or a singular metric and threshold against which the safety performance of all partners is measured. Rather, the AM&D Safety team looks to assess each partner’s Safety Plan on its own terms, in reference to the particular partner’s planned scope of operations. The safety plan assessment framework is organized into three safety components that are complementary to each other and ensure that Uber is assessing a partner’s comprehensive approach to safety rather than only assessing individual topics such as safety metrics or verification and validation approaches.


Conclusion

The AM&D Safety Program is designed to be beneficial to both Uber and our AV Partners.

For Uber this program:

  • ensures the AM&D program is aligned with Uber’s corporate value to Stand for Safety
  • ensures the AM&D program performs reasonable diligence in regards to safety
  • establishes a single, flexible framework for goods delivery as well as rides with passengers

Ultimately, this collaborative work should support the safe commercialization of AVs by promoting a transparent, consistent, thorough approach to safety across partners on our platform.

To learn more about our Safety Guidelines for Autonomous Mobility and Delivery Providers on the Uber Platform download the full report.