The UK will introduce a new autonomous vehicle testing system to ensure the safety of self-driving vehicles before they hit the road.
The CAV PASS safety assurance programme, which is geared towards furthering the UK’s status as a world leader in ensuring high levels of safety in autonomous vehicle testing and rollout, will focus initially on implementing advanced testing protocols; with the eventual goal of shoring up the safety and security of autonomous vehicles to prepare them for the mainstream market.
Joshua Harris Director of Campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said: “Connected and autonomous vehicles have enormous potential to eliminate driver error and help put an end to the daily tragedy of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. The technology and its potential [are] hugely exciting, but it’s critical that these vehicles are robustly tested for safety before allowing them on our roads. We support the leading role being played by UK government on this important agenda for safe mobility and the safety assurance regime will undoubtedly be fundamental to its future success.”
A network of autonomous vehicle testing facilities is in development in the UK; with the Autonomous Village facility opening in Millbrook-Culham this week. The testing centre, which is equipped with 70km of test tracks, a private mobile network and a comprehensive simulation facility, will enable both security testing of self-driving vehicles and data collection for analysis and implementation in further technology development.
Future of Transport Minister George Freeman said: “Self-driving vehicles can offer significant rewards for the UK’s economy, road safety and accessibility. 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.”