Millbrook self-driving village

Millbrook self-driving test village Photo: Millbrook

New standards for autonomous vehicles to prevent defects and ensure they are safe from cyber attacks have been announced by the government.

The assurance system, called CAV PASS, will first focus on enabling the advanced trialling of self-driving vehicles and aims to eventually help assure the safety and security of these vehicles for their mainstream sale and use.

Such advanced trials may include those without a human operator in the loop at all times, or the assessment of novel vehicle types such as pods and shuttles.

This work builds on the world-leading code of practice for automated vehicle trials first launched by the UK in 2015 and updated this year.


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The announcement coincided with the opening of the UK’s first ‘Autonomous Village’ at the Millbrook-Culham testing centre in Bedfordshire.

The new testing ground, which includes 70km of secure test tracks, is intended to allow developers to safely challenge systems and collect data, fine-tune software, sensors, 5G telecommunications and cyber security systems, coordinated by UK automated vehicle company Zenzic.

Future of transport minister George Freeman said at the Cenex-Low Carbon Vehicle 2019 event this week: “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.”