Carnegie Mellon University

Philip Koopman

Philip Koopman

Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Address 5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


My background includes time as a submarine officer for the US Navy, a principal in a couple small startups, an embedded CPU architect for Harris Semiconductor, and an embedded system architect for United Technologies Research Center. At Carnegie Mellon I've worked in the broad areas of wearable computers, software robustness, embedded networking, dependable embedded computer systems, and autonomous vehicle safety. My current research interests focus on self-driving car safety, embedded system dependability, safety critical systems, embedded control networks, distributed embedded systems, secure embedded systems, and embedded systems education. I'm also co-founder of Edge Case Research LLC. I'm a senior member of IEEE, senior member of the ACM, and a member of IFIP WG 10.4 on Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance. I have been named the 2018 winner of the IEEE-SSIT Carl Barus Award for outstanding service in the public interest.


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

M.S., 1982 
Electrical, Computer, and System Engineering 
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

B.S., 1982 
Electrical, Computer, and System Engineering 
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Distributed Embedded Systems

The vast majority of the billions of processors manufactured yearly are used for embedded applications rather than desktop computing. Increasingly, these embedded processors are being incorporated into "smart" sensors and actuators, and are connected over a real-time network to form distributed embedded systems. Such systems have significantly different requirements and trade-offs than conventional computing systems, encompassing the areas of interdisciplinary design optimization, ultra-high dependability, very low cost, real-time performance, safety, low power consumption, and extended duration life-cycle support. Representative application areas include automobiles, trains, industrial process controls, home appliances, and inexpensive consumer items.

Professor Koopman's areas of interest include teaching distributed embedded system design techniques, improving the safety of embedded systems, and improving the survivability of deeply embedded systems (embedded systems that connect to enterprise systems).


  • Autonomous system safety
  • Distributed embedded systems
  • Software testing
  • Dependability
  • Autonomous driving
  • Computer engineering
  • Cyberphysical systems (CPS)
  • Embedded networks
  • Software engineering
  • Software safety
  • Software testing



Related news

Friday, July 08, 2022

Koopman quoted by multiple outlets on AV safety

ECE Associate Professor and leading expert in AV safety, Phil Koopman, has been quoted in a number of articles from various outlets.
Friday, July 01, 2022

Koopman selected for NSC Inaugural Mobility Safety Advisory Group

ECE Associate Professor, Phil Koopman, a leading expert in Autonomous Vehicle (AV) safety, has been selected by the National Safety Council (NSC) to join its inaugural Mobility Safety Advisory Group.
Monday, March 28, 2022

Koopman Quoted in The Guardian on AV 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."
Friday, September 06, 2019

Koopman on self-driving car challenges

Philip Koopman was interviewed by Bloomberg in an article about car crashes caused by Tesla vehicles, specifically responding to a crash from 2018 in which a Tesla car failed to see the firetruck in front of it and crashed.
Thursday, August 01, 2019

Koopman comments on the multiple challenges of autonomous vehicles

Philip Koopman was quoted by Communications of the ACM about the multiple challenges for self-driving cars. Many problems arise when these vehicles encounter unanticipated circumstances and try to transfer control to humans.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Koopman is skeptical of Tesla’s fully driverless claims

With bold claims of fully driverless cars in the near future, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has earned the cautious skepticism of many experts in the field, including ECE’s Phil Koopman.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Koopman helping draft first AV safety standards

ECE’s Philip Koopman is helping to create the first set of safety standards for autonomous vehicles. It will require manufacturers to provide a comprehensive accounting of how their vehicle will ensure the safety of its occupants in any likely dangerous scenario.
Thursday, January 03, 2019

Koopman discusses safety and the future of self-driving cars

In The Atlantic’s article about the future of self-driving cars, Phil Koopman commented on how safety might affect the technology’s future.
Monday, September 17, 2018

Koopman on self-driving car accidents

Apple’s first ever self-driving car crash occurred in Sunnyvale, CA, when a human-driven Nissan Leaf rear-ended the self-driving car.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Koopman comments on hurdles facing self-driving cars

Philip Koopman commented for TechRadar on the challenges that will need to be overcome in order to achieve safe, widespread deployment of self-driving vehicles.
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Koopman explains how to keep self-driving cars safe

Philip Koopman wrote an op-ed for The Hill explaining how automakers can maintain vehicle safety without sacrificing progress and technological innovation.
Monday, May 21, 2018

Koopman doubts Mobileye AV claims

Ars Technica quoted ECE’s Philip Koopman in an article about the feasibility of Mobileye’s autonomous vehicle technology.
Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Koopman interviewed on AV safety

Citylab interviewed Philip Koopman on the safety implications of the fatal Uber crash in Tempe, AZ.
Friday, April 27, 2018

Koopman on pedestrians and self-driving cars

The Incline quoted Philip Koopman on how autonomous cars detect pedestrians. Koopman details a self-driving car’s situational awareness: 360-degree cameras intake large volumes of data, and the car maintains singular attention on the road.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Koopman quoted on the difficulties of human operators in self-driving vehicles

As the government and different agencies are looking at the safety of self-driving vehicles, PennDOT is looking into how companies like Uber can continue to test this technology in a safe and useful way.
Monday, April 16, 2018

Koopman quoted on self-driving technology

Consumer Affairs recently discussed the future of self-driving technology with Philip Koopman.
Friday, March 09, 2018

Koopman to speak at PAAV Summit 2018

Philip Koopman will be the kickoff keynote speaker at the Pennsylvania Automated Vehicle (PAAV) Summit 2018.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 to feature Phil Koopman in upcoming podcast

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Koopman receives IEEE's Carl Barus Award

Philip Koopman recently won the 2018 IEEE-SSIT Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest.
Friday, March 03, 2017

Consumer Reports quotes Koopman on work with self-driving cars

Most experts agree that self-driving cars are 85 to 90 percent of the way to full autonomy.
Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Koopman comments on software bugs in autonomous vehicles

While the idea of a fully self-driving car is exciting, it’s important to note just how large a role software plays in autonomous capability. And how big of a stumbling block it can be. ECE’s Philip Koopman recently told The Register that the majority of software-induced vehicle accidents should never happen.
Friday, December 01, 2017

Koopman provides voice of reason on safety for self-driving car development

The first self-driving cars are finally operating on real streets, but doubts about their safety continue to plague passengers and pedestrians.
Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Koopman delivers keynote at ISSRE 2016

Philip Koopman gave the opening keynote at 27th annual International Symposium on Software Reliability Software.
Friday, November 04, 2016

Koopman quoted in Wall Street Daily, EE TImes on self-driving cars

According to Koopman, we can't just assume this technology is going to work.