Assuring the safety of connected and autonomous vehicles

A significant challenge faced by the Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) industry is the lack of an assurance system enabling the release of products to market. The CertiCAV Assurance Paper takes a big step to overcome this challenge by developing a comprehensive approach for assuring the safety of automated vehicles.

The project was undertaken by Connected Places Catapult and commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT). The CertiCAV Assurance Paper presents a framework for the pre-market assurance of Highly Automated Vehicle (HAV) behaviour, making it a significant resource and knowledgebase to advance the wider CAV industry.

HAVs can operate on roads without the involvement of a human in the driving task. Commercial deployment of HAVs means replacing licenced and insured human drivers with automated systems, and this has wide-reaching consequences.

By identifying key considerations, the CertiCAV framework will help enable the introduction of HAVs into the road traffic environment. The framework draws upon the existing system of regulations/practice and feeds back important gaps and approaches to address them.

The goal of CertiCAV is providing assurance, which means ensuring outcomes desirable for society are met. Safety is paramount, however other practical considerations such as minimising conflicts between users or ensuring efficient traffic flow are also covered.

The CertiCAV Assurance Paper delivers on the following objectives:

  • Identifies key considerations for the assurance of HAVs, approaches to address them, and practical considerations for their implementation
  • Considers existing type approval practices and suggests how different actors may contribute to HAV assurance
  • Draws together and builds upon existing expertise and work done elsewhere in the UK to encourage knowledge transfer and the advancement of UK capability in this field

Publication of this paper will advance knowledge in the field of assurance of HAVs, establishing some key foundations upon which an assurance scheme may be developed, as part of the CAVPASS[2] programme to enable the introduction of CAVs on GB roads.

CertiCAV Assurance Paper
File Type: pdfFile size: 5.3MB

“The CertiCAV Assurance Paper has a significant number of novel ideas in it, which should really help tackle the thorny problems involved in developing a workable assurance process for HAVs. Examples of our contributions are the need for a Highly Automated SuperSystem (HASS) specification, the concept of Deployment Risk Classifications, and a principled foundation for developing requirements — taking inputs from both safety goals and the existing highway rules, and producing outputs using measurable performance indicators.” Zeyn Saigol, Principal Technologist at Connected Places Catapult and Technical Lead for CertiCAV

“The CertiCAV Assurance Paper is a major step towards providing the foundations for safe deployment of CAVs. WMG were excited to partner with Connected Places Catapult to deliver the project. Building on the joint expertise of the team and from inputs from wider national and international stakeholders, the paper is one of the first instances where focus has rightly been laid on system safety, as a pre-requisite to operational safety. With concepts like behaviour library and behaviour code, both underpinned by Operational Design Domain, the framework provides a scalable proposal for assurance.” Siddartha Khastgir, Head of Verification & Validation, Intelligent Vehicles, WMG, University of Warwick

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[1] The CertiCAV project, and the document shared here, is intended to be a thought-piece on the challenges of automated vehicle safety. The document does not intend to be exhaustive, present authoritative recommendations or final solutions. Where assumptions have been made, for the purpose of project delivery, these have been set without prejudice to alternatives. This document does not necessarily represent the views of the Department for Transport or any UK government body.

[2] The CAVPASS (Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Process for Assuring Safety and Security) programme was established by the Department’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) in 2019. CAVPASS is much broader in scope than the CertiCAV project and therefore CAVPASS considers areas of safety and security which fall out of the scope of this project.