BSI launches standards program for development of autonomous vehicles in the UK

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The British Standards Institution (BSI) has announced that it will begin working on a new standardization program to support the safe deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) in the UK.

Working in partnership with the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), the Department for Transport (DfT), Innovate UK and Zenzic, the aim of the program is to provide guidance and technical standards that will accelerate the safe and successful deployment of automated vehicles and promote UK capabilities in areas such as CAV design and testing.

“Self-driving vehicles have the potential to transform the way we travel, helping improve road safety while creating economic benefits,” said Michael Ellis, the UK’s Minister of State for Transport. “The introduction of these new standards will ensure safety remains our top priority, as we work to accelerate the successful introduction of exciting pioneering technology.”

According to government research, the UK CAV industry is forecast to be worth an estimated £52bn (US$64bn) to the UK by 2035. The anticipated benefits of driverless vehicle technology include fewer collisions caused by driver error, increased productivity, reduced congestion and new and inclusive mobility services.

The new program will shape some of the emerging technical conversations around automated vehicles and promote UK thought leadership and influence through international standards development and collaboration. BSI has established a cross-stakeholder advisory board that pulls in the leading voices from the UK CAV ecosystem including testbeds and companies involved in national CAV trials to identify where the industry needs standards. The program will consider standardization across areas such as safety, advanced testing, data, cybersecurity, CAV infrastructure, human factors and the deployment of automated vehicle services.

Dr Scott Steedman, director of standards at BSI, said, “Successful deployment of automated vehicles in the UK depends on overcoming a wide range of challenges in infrastructure, public safety and changes to traditional automotive manufacturing, particularly in relation to software, sensors and new methods of validation and testing. A set of strong, widely accepted standards will cement the UK’s global lead in this space and promote greater trust in these technologies. This important program of work will add to our existing portfolio of innovative standards in areas such as automotive cybersecurity, robot ethics and smart cities.”

The first deliverables from the new program will be two Publicly Available Specifications (PAS): PAS 1880 and PAS 1881, relating to safety of automated vehicle development and testing. These are scheduled to be published in early 2020.

PAS 1880 will create guidelines for assessing the safety of control systems in automated vehicles from driverless pods to full production vehicles. It will help companies designing automated vehicles for use in trials and on public roads to assess with more confidence the safety levels of their end product, systems and components.

PAS 1881 will provide assurance to any concerned stakeholders that risks from CAV trials and testing have been adequately managed and will be informed by the work of UK self-driving hub Zenzic.

“We believe that clear and commonly understood guidance on how to test self-driving vehicles is a critical enabler to accelerate their delivery and foster public acceptance,” said Richard Porter, director of technology and innovation at Zenzic. “The BSI program perfectly complements the work that Zenzic with TRL and our UK testbed partners have done to ensure there is a unified safety framework across all UK testing and development facilities.”

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Dan joined UKi Media & Events in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As deputy editor, he now produces content for the Autonomous Vehicle International website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue.

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