Systems Safety Engineering: Human Factors Analysis

Semester 2, 2020
 Gain experience with applying the following human factors analysis techniques to a real incident
 Develop skills in written communication, in particular the skills associated with preparing written reports.
Topic of investigation
Autonomous/self-driving cars are being developed and tested by a number of different companies around the world. However the questions of systems safety have arisen from a number of fatal crashes including the following:
– A Tesla Model S operating in autopilot mode hit a white truck and trailer on May 7, 2016 west of Williston, Florida killing the occupant of the car.
– An Uber self-driving car being operated in automatic mode struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempest Arizona on March 18, 2018
– A Tesla Model X operating in autopilot mode crashed into concrete barrier on March 23, 2018 on Highway 101 Mountain View, Santa Clara County, California which resulted in the death of the occupant.
– A Tesla Model 3 operating in autopilot mode struck a truck-trailer on March 1, 2019 in Delray Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida which resulted in the death of the occupant. [Sources: and various other news reports]
In this assignment you are being asked to analyse, document and recommend insights into the human factors risks associated with autonomous cars and interventions that could be implemented to improve the safety of transport systems within which autonomous/self-driving cars are operating.
A. Establish the context
a. Prepare a statement of the objective(s) and scope of the risk treatment activity you have been assigned as well brief summary of the unwanted event you are analysing.
b. Include a summary statement of the importance and significance of the activity.
B. SAfER Analyses
a. Complete the SAfER table covering the strategies the “driver” can use while the car is in “autopilot” mode.
C. STPA Analysis
Page 2 of 2
a. Complete an STPA analyses to explore risks associated with the important human-systems interactions
D. Recommendations
a. Based on your analysis in parts B and C develop a set of prioritised recommendations which could be implemented to improve the control of risks in transportation systems within which autonomous vehicles are operating.
 A brief (2 page max.) memorandum for the senior managers which includes:
o Summary of the findings of the risk assessment (i.e. major risks identified)
o Summary of major recommendations
o Table summarising the strengths and limitations of the different analysis approaches used (i.e. SAfER and STPA)
o Any other critical information
 Attachments:
o Scope and event description (2 page max.)
o List of assumptions made during the analysis (1 page max)
o Completed SAfER table
o Completed STPA
o Set of prioritised recommendations
This assignment is worth 10% of the overall grade for this course:
 Tech memo (24%)
 Objectives, scope, and unwanted event description (20%)
 Literature referenced (8%)
 SAfER (24%)
 STPA (24%)
 Late assignment will attract a penalty refer to ECP for details
 All written submission will be submitted through TurnItIn.
 This project will be subject to peer review

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