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openpilot Safety

openpilot is an Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Automated Lane Centering (ALC) system. Like other ACC and ALC systems, openpilot is a failsafe passive system and it requires the driver to be alert and to pay attention at all times.

In order to enforce driver alertness, openpilot includes a driver monitoring feature that alerts the driver when distracted.

However, even with an attentive driver, we must make further efforts for the system to be safe. We repeat, driver alertness is necessary, but not sufficient, for openpilot to be used safely and openpilot is provided with no warranty of fitness for any purpose.

openpilot is developed in good faith to be compliant with FMVSS requirements and to follow industry standards of safety for Level 2 Driver Assistance Systems. In particular, we observe ISO26262 guidelines, including those from pertinent documents released by NHTSA. In addition, we impose strict coding guidelines (like MISRA C : 2012) on parts of openpilot that are safety relevant. We also perform software-in-the-loop, hardware-in-the-loop and in-vehicle tests before each software release.

Following Hazard and Risk Analysis and FMEA, at a very high level, we have designed openpilot ensuring two main safety requirements.

  1. The driver must always be capable to immediately retake manual control of the vehicle, by stepping on either pedal or by pressing the cancel button.
  2. The vehicle must not alter its trajectory too quickly for the driver to safely react. This means that while the system is engaged, the actuators are constrained to operate within reasonable limits.

For vehicle specific implementation of the safety concept, refer to panda/board/safety/.

Extra note: comma.ai strongly discourages the use of openpilot forks with safety code either missing or not fully meeting the above requirements.

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