UK public positive about self-driving vehicles, BSI finds

LinkedIn +

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has published its latest safety standards for automated vehicles, as well as a new opinion poll on the benefits of self-driving technologies.

BSI has launched the latest in its series of standards from the connected and automated vehicles (CAV) standards programme with the aim of promoting safe trialling and testing of automated vehicles on public roads.

The new guide looks to promote good practice in the training and use of safety operators, a common feature in trials and testing of CAVs, to help manage safety risks and supervise the operation of the vehicles as technology advances.

Additionally, an opinion poll of 1,000 people in the UK showed public confidence in CAVs was boosted by the presence of a safety operator whilst the technology is being trialled and tested. Nearly 59% said they would feel more confident as a passenger in a CAV knowing an onboard safety operator could take control or intervene if necessary, with over 40% adding the safety operator would make them feel more confident as a pedestrian.

The research by BSI also highlighted that 70% of the public saw the benefits including safety gains, with the potential for reduction in driver error and accidents rating as the top benefit.

People aged 18-24 years saw the most potential benefit of the technology, compared to other age groups. However, while the public was largely positive around the benefits of CAVs, respondents indicated ‘trust in the technology’ posed the biggest barrier to acceptance, with 39% citing trust issues related to ethics, safety and security.

The new standard, PAS 1884, Safety operators in automated vehicle testing and trialling – Guide, gives guidance for organisations engaged in automated vehicle trialling and developmental testing that use safety operators. It covers training of the safety operator including, responsibilities of the trialling organisation and safety operator, safety operator selection and fitness to drive. The training covers a number of items including, hazards and mitigations, safety protocols and the subject vehicle’s relevant operational design domain (ODD) and its attributes.

Anne Hayes, director of sectors at BSI, said: “Our new research has found that the successful deployment of automated vehicles in the UK depends on the public’s confidence in their own safety. It shows that safety operators have a critical role in both automated vehicle trials and development testing, as well as the promotion of greater trust in the new technologies.

“The newly published guidance covers training and supervision of safety operators and demonstrates that the UK is putting safety first while this technology develops on the road to fully automated vehicles.”

The CAV Standards Programme has been developed in conjunction with the UK’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and delivered in conjunction with stakeholders from the Department for Transport and Innovation UK.

The new publication is authored by a technical team led by TRL and was developed with a steering group of technical experts representing organisations in the UK CAV eco-system, including automated vehicle developers and manufactures, testbeds, training providers and road authorities.

The standard is applicable to both trials and developmental testing, including trials of prototype vehicles, passenger and freight carrying services on both public and private roads or land, as bound by and proportionate to the relevant ODD.

Read more: Funding boost for four UK-based autonomous vehicle projects

Share this story: