This paper describes Waymo's Collision Avoidance Testing (CAT) methodology: a scenario-based testing method that evaluates the safety of the Waymo Driver Automated Driving Systems' (ADS) intended functionality in conflict situations initiated by other road users that require urgent evasive maneuvers. Because SAE Level 4 ADS are responsible for the dynamic driving task (DDT), when engaged, without immediate human intervention, evaluating a Level 4 ADS using scenario-based testing is difficult due to the potentially infinite number of operational scenarios in which hazardous situations may unfold. To that end, in this paper we first describe the safety test objectives for the CAT methodology, including the collision and serious injury metrics and the reference behavior model representing a non-impaired eyes on conflict human driver used to form an acceptance criterion. Afterward, we introduce the process for identifying potentially hazardous situations from a combination of human data, ADS testing data, and expert knowledge about the product design and associated Operational Design Domain (ODD). The test allocation and execution strategy is presented next, which exclusively utilize simulations constructed from sensor data collected on a test track, real-world driving, or from simulated sensor data. The paper concludes with the presentation of results from applying CAT to the fully autonomous ride-hailing service that Waymo operates in San Francisco, California and Phoenix, Arizona. The iterative nature of scenario identification, combined with over ten years of experience of on-road testing, results in a scenario database that converges to a representative set of responder role scenarios for a given ODD. Using Waymo's virtual test platform, which is calibrated to data collected as part of many years of ADS development, the CAT methodology provides a robust and scalable safety evaluation.
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