Ontology of autonomous driving based on the SAE J3016 standard

Tracking #: 3578-4792

Robert Trypuz
Piotr Kulicki
Mirek Sopek

Responsible editor: 
Cogan Shimizu

Submission type: 
Full Paper
Autonomous driving is a recently developed area in which technology seems to be ahead of its understanding within society. That causes some fears concerning the reliability of autonomous vehicles and controversies over liability in case of accidents. Specifying levels of driving autonomy within the SAE-J3016 standard is widely recognized as a significant step towards comprehending the essence of the achievements. However, the standard provides even more valuable insights into the process of driving automation. In the paper, we develop the ideas using the methods of formal ontology that allow us to make the conceptual system more precise and formalize it. To increase inseparability, we ground our system on a top-level BFO ontology. We present a formal account of several areas covered by the SAE-J3016 standard, including motor vehicles and their systems, driving tasks and subtasks, roles of persons in road communication, and autonomy levels.
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Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
Anonymous submitted on 04/Dec/2023
Review Comment:

The authors have made efforts in addressing the initial concerns regarding ontology validation and representation. The detailed analysis of the SAE-J3016 standard within the paper, alongside the commitment to future work, provides confidence in the potential applicability of the research. It's encouraging to see the authors' thorough approach to improving their work based on feedback. The updates to the ontology and the clarity of the responses have increased the paper's value, and I support its acceptance. Looking forward to seeing the continued evolution of this work in the field.

Review #2
Anonymous submitted on 15/Dec/2023
Review Comment:

The authors have answered and explained some statements that were difficult to understand. This paper is now well structured and the figures are also adjusted for better readability. I look forward to applying this comprehensive autonomous driving ontology in real autonomous vehicles.

Review #3
Anonymous submitted on 29/Dec/2023
Review Comment:

This paper introduces a formal ontology of the SAE-J3016 standard. The
paper provides an overview of the ontology with accompanying artifacts.
The paper is well-written and the figures are clear. Although the
examples span the majority of the paper, these examples illustrate the
ontology on real-world tasks. Some of the captions on the figures could
be more descriptive, but overall this is a paper that will be of
interest to the SWJ community and with minor edits I should be accepted.


+ Figure 1 is a nice encapsulation of the ontology.
+ The paper focuses on an important problem: vehicle standards an
ontologies should be a focus of the SWJ community, especially with
the influx of self-driving cars and V2V communication.
+ Nice examples in Section 5, but I wonder if this could benefit from
a running example with many different parts, e.g., a vehicle
parallel parking, although the human remote driver is a good
+ The data provided by the authors in the form of a github repo
contains the ontology and is well-organized. It contains a README
file with links to the ontology and other resources. They also
include a set of python scripts to contribute to the repo. This
github repository is appropriate for long-term discoverability. To
my knowledge, the data and artifacts are complete.


- The introductory section is a bit terse and it lacks depth and
context. I'm wondering if this section could be strengthened by
illustrating a use case.
- Table 1/2 could be improved with a more descriptive caption of the
classes and properties.
- Some of the examples in Section 5 run a bit long and I'm wondering
if they could be shortened or possibly moved to an appendix.


- Maybe it would be useful to differentiate between the different
types of vehicle standards (at least classifying their purpose or
- One thing that I was wondering about was whether this ontology is an
extension of the SAE-J3016 standard or a formalization of it?

Minor things

- Line 19 page 2: "The paper has the following structure We start by
discussing related works". Missing a ; or .