Philip Koopman is an associate professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering with additional affiliations with the Software and Societal Systems Department and the Robotics Institute. He leads research on safe and secure embedded systems and teaches cost-effective embedded system design techniques. He has over 20 years of experience with autonomous vehicle safety, dating back to the Carnegie Mellon Navlab team and the Automated Highway Systems (AHS) program.

Koopman’s most recent projects include using stress testing and run time monitoring to ensure safety for a variety of vehicle and robotic applications for research, industry, and defense applications. He has additional experience with automotive and industrial functional safety, including testifying as an expert in vehicle safety class action litigation and consulting to NHTSA. He is a co-founder of Edge Case Research, which provides tools and services for autonomous vehicle testing and safety validation.

His pre-university career includes experience as a US Navy submarine officer, an embedded CPU designer at Harris Semiconductor, and an embedded system architect at United Technologies. He is a senior member of IEEE and ACM, and a member of SAE.

A308 Hamerschlag Hall
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Philip Koopman
Philip Koopman

Software Safety for Autonomous Vehicles

Self-Driving Cars Safety Tips Playlist


1989 Ph.D., Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

1982 Master of Engineering, Computer and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

1982 BS, Computer and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Media mentions

The Washington Post

Koopman talks safety with driverless cars

ECE’s Phil Koopman spoke to the Washington Post about things to consider when self-driving cars are on the road. Koopman noted that it could be dangerous to cross in front of a self-driving car that doesn’t have a person who could take the wheel. “You couldn’t give me enough money to walk in front of these things,” Koopman said.

Los Angeles Times

Koopman quoted on Tesla recalls

ECE’s Phil Koopman spoke to the Los Angeles Times about a recent recall of Tesla’s autonomous cars due to safety issues. Addressing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s investigation into the matter, Koopman said, “NHTSA would be motivated to get this thing fixed in a way that involves the least trauma and gets it done faster.”

The New York Times

Koopman talks improving functionality in self-driving cars

ECE’s Phil Koopman spoke to the New York Times about improving the safety of autonomous cars amid concerns about their ability to navigate city environments. “Sometimes these cars just need a human to help them out of a tough spot,” Koopman said.

The Washington Post

Koopman quoted in The Washington Post

ECE’s Phil Koopman discusses safety issues with independent self-driving vehicle testing. “They’re doing it on public roads. It still raises the same ethical issue that you’re putting other people at nonconsensual risk,” he says.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Koopman talks self-driving car safety

ECE’s Philip Koopman talked with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the importance of safety regulations when testing self-driving cars amid local company Argo AI’s decision to form an independent safety council. “Its always good to see an autonomous vehicle company getting independent advice because independence is absolutely essential for safety,” he says.


Koopman quoted on autonomous driving safety measures

ECE’s Philip Koopman was quoted in Jalopnik about safety measures after CMU researchers looked into a recent crash by an autonomous TuSimple tractor trailer. “This information shows that the testing they are doing on public roads is highly unsafe,” he says.

Multiple outlets

Koopman quoted by multiple outlets on AV safety

With Autonomous Vehicle (AV) testing ramping up and the release of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest report, ECE’s Phil Koopman has been quoted in a number of articles from various outlets including CBS News, The Washington Post, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Jalopnik.

National Safety Council

Koopman selected for NSC Inaugural Mobility Safety Advisory Group

ECE’s Phil Koopman has been selected by the National Safety Council (NSC) to join its inaugural Mobility Safety Advisory Group.

The Guardian

Koopman quoted on AV training

ECE’s Phil Koopman was quoted in the Guardian on training AI to detect distracted driving with 3D models of distracted drivers.


Koopman quoted on self driving trucks

ECE’s Phil Koopman was quoted in a Reuters article about the deployment of autonomous trucks in Texas in the upcoming years.

Yahoo! News

Koopman quoted on AV safety

ECE’s Phil Koopman was quoted by Yahoo! News about the safety of autonomous vehicles after Tesla released “assertive mode,” where the AV would copy poor driving habits many humans maintain. This story also appeared on CNBC’s website.

The Guardian

Koopman quoted on AV technology

ECE’s Phil Koopman was quoted in The Guardian on autonomous vehicle technology safety. “Safety isn’t about working right most of the time. Safety is all about the rare case where it doesn’t work properly,” says Koopman.