The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has announced a new research program called Assured Autonomy seeking to develop rigorous design and analysis technologies to guarantee safety and to enhance their predictability of autonomous machines likes drones and driverless cars.
Assuring systems operate safely and perform as expected, as said in a DARPA press release that it will centre on military autonomous vehicles.
“Tremendous advances have been made in the last decade in constructing autonomy systems, as evidenced by the proliferation of a variety of unmanned vehicles. These advances have been driven by innovations in several areas, including sensing and actuation, computing, control theory, design methods, and modeling and simulation,” said Sandeep Neema, program manager at DARPA. “In spite of these advances, deployment and broader adoption of such systems in safety-critical DoD applications remains challenging and controversial”.
Assured Autonomy will produce a set of publicly available software tools for use in commercial and defense sectors. DARPA seeks innovative techniques that render the learning algorithms inherently safe by incorporating safety constraints in the learning process, while meeting learning objectives.
The goal of the Assured Autonomy program is to create technology for continual assurance of Learning-Enabled, Cyber Physical Systems (LE-CPSs). Continual assurance is defined as an assurance of the safety and functional correctness of the system provided provisionally at design time, and continually monitored, updated, and evaluated at operation-time as the system and its environment evolves.