UK to develop 'world-leading' safety standard for autonomous cars

by James Attwood, Autocar UK 05 Sep 2019

The UK Government is developing a new safety standard for self-driving vehicles on British roads, as part of a push to make the country a world leader in autonomous technology.

The new regime, called CAV PASS, is being developed by “world-leading” experts in vehicle safety and cyber security from the Government, industry and the academic world. It's intended to ensure that self-driving vehicles “are safe and secure by design and minimise any defects ahead of their testing, sale and wider deployment on UK roads.”

The new standards will build on existing guidelines that were first established by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) in 2015.

The scheme, which the Government hopes will become the basis for a global standard, was announced by George Freeman, the future of mobility minister, at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle conference.

At that event, Freeman also opened the Autonomous Village, a new self-driving test facility at Millbrook Proving Ground that features 43 miles of test track. 

The facility is the first in a planned network of autonomous vehicle testing facilities that will also allow developers to test software, 5G connectivity and cyber security systems.

“Self-driving vehicles can offer significant rewards for the UK’s economy, road safety and accessibility,” said Freeman. “We are determined to lead in the testing and development of safe autonomous transport.

“This is new terrain, and with our national expertise, the UK is well placed to blaze the trail globally by developing a global benchmark for assuring the safety and security of this exciting technology.”