Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Components and Their Failure Rates in Autonomous Driving

Alexander Richtera, Teo Puig Walz, Mayur Dhanani, Ivo Häring, Georg Vogelbacher, Fabian Höflinger, Jörg Finger and Alexander Stolz

Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut, EMI, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.


Autonomous driving has been among the most actively researched topics over the past decades. Today, automotive vehicles are already equipped with driving assistance systems with partial autonomous driving capabilities. Thus, the need for quantitative and qualitative assessment of automated driving functions becomes increasingly vital. The used hardware and software must undergo vigorous safety assessments with regard to reliability and safety. This must be done under careful consideration of driving scenarios and environmental conditions. The safety of the intended functionality (SOTIF) standard, which is developed under the corresponding ISO 21448 standard for road vehicles, lies at the center of these considerations. SOTIF deals with the question of how a target function needs to be specified, developed, verified, and validated so that it can be considered sufficiently safe. As a good starting point, we suggest regarding the individual failure probabilities for each of the components comprising the autonomous driving system. Based on the failure probabilities of each component, it is possible to make assumptions about the failure probability of the system as a whole and even identify possible deficiencies.

In this contribution, we aim to identify the typical components needed for an autonomous vehicle (AV) and further provide a comprehensive overview of failure probabilities for said components. Certainly, it would go beyond the scope of this work to create a statistically firm data basis by individually testing all components until failure, especially when taking into consideration that the failure probabilities of each component vary over time and with environmental conditions. Instead, the relevant factors with regard to the typical failure modes are identified and relevant data is accumulated from publications that reflect the current state of the art.

Keywords: Autonomous driving, Safety of the Intended Functionality (SOTIF), Failure probability, Safety and reliability analysis, Operational failure, Risk management, Systems risk, Fail-safe, Redundancy.

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