The Third Edition of the UL Standards & Engagement Standard for Evaluation of Autonomous Products, UL 4600, which contains safety principles and processes to evaluate autonomous road vehicles and other products that operate without human supervision, now covers autonomous trucking.

The expanded edition of UL 4600 is currently scheduled for publication on March 17, 2023.

As UL 4600 requires a safety case be constructed to ensure that an autonomous “item” is deemed Source: UL Standards & EngagementSource: UL Standards & Engagement acceptable safe for deployment, the safety case framework has been revised to support autonomous trucking including trucking-specific examples. Guidance for a safety case is provided in UL 4600 in the form of a structured set of claims, argument, and supporting evidence during the design process and continuing throughout the system lifecycle.

UL 4600 is unlike a traditional UL safety standard, as it illustrates a unique “safety case” approach to evaluating items covered by the Standard. A safety case is a structured argument, supported by evidence that provides a compelling, comprehensive and valid claim that a system or product is safe for a particular application in a specified environment.

UL 4600 is technology-neutral and non-prescriptive, while covering all aspects of autonomous technologies and functions. This approach provides a framework that leads designers of autonomous systems through the required thought process to ensure all possible complications have been considered. Additionally, UL 4600 was designed to work with existing standards like ISO 26262, Road vehicles — Functional safety — Part 1: Vocabulary, and ISO 21448, Road vehicles — Safety of the intended functionality, to ensure that safety aspects are covered for the entire system of the vehicle and its support infrastructure.

Conformance to UL 4600 is validated by both self- and independent assessment. The standard itself is structured in a unique way using safety case criteria defined as Mandatory, Required, Recommended or Highly Recommended.

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