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Ongoing Driver and Consumer Research

January 2020

Drivers are being encouraged to share their views on autonomous vehicles, as part of a European-wide research project.

The Drive2theFuture project aims to prepare drivers, other travellers and vehicle operators for the future use of connected, cooperative and automated transport modes. 

The project, backed by IAM RoadSmart, is developing training, incentives, policies and other ‘cost efficient measures’ to promote autonomous vehicles.

To support the project, a new survey has been launched to build a picture of the current views of European consumers on autonomous vehicles.

The survey seeks opinions about acceptance of autonomous vehicles in different transport modes. Each section begins with a simple description of what automation means for that mode (ie rail and road), with simple illustrative examples and a short list of multiple choice questions.

To participate in the survey please click here.

Report: Automated Driving Systems: Understanding Future Collision Patterns

December 2017

TRL studied a scenario where traditional and autonomous vehicles coexist on UK roads and looked at the patterns of one and two vehicle collisions.

It concluded 22% of collisions – in which one of the vehicles was replaced by a ‘level 4’ automated vehicle – could be avoided. This type of vehicle is controlled for the entire dynamic driving task, so that the human driver is not required or expected to intervene. Based on the prediction that 8%-19% of the total car fleet will be autonomous by 2040, the report estimates that up to 650 fatal and serious injury collisions could be prevented annually. It also suggests there will be a reduction in collisions at junctions (10%), collisions involving vulnerable road users (10%) and single vehicle run off road collisions (12%). However, the report bemoans a lack of publicly available data on the introduction of automated technology and its behaviour in near misses and collision scenarios.

Download the report here.

Report: Safety Case Framework Report 2.0

A report by Zenzic. Authored by TRL.

March 2020

This Safety Case Framework Report 2.0 is the culmination of a programme of work which has distilled best practice in the creation and sharing of connected and automated mobility (CAM) safety cases for the testing and development of connected and self-driving technologies. It brings together the best practice and learnings from many organisations to develop a consistent approach to both the creation and understanding of safety cases.

A safety case is a body of evidence of the steps taken to ensure the safe operation of self-driving vehicles. It is crucial that it can be shared and understood. The processes developed within this report set expectations of how safety cases can be ported between test facilities to allow each safety case to be evolved, as well as provide those who may need to review or receive safety cases some clarity on what a good safety case looks like.

This work, and the previous Safety Case Framework report, has been instrumental in informing the recently released PAS 1881 Assuring safety of automated vehicle trials and testing,by providing a considered and expert input into the consensus approach to bring these findings to a national and international audience.

Download the report here.

PAS 1881 and CAM TestbedUK Safety Case Framework launch

March 2020

In the video Camila Fowler (Head of Risk Management, TRL) and Dr. Richard Porter (Technology and Innovation Director, Zenzic) answer different questions about PAS 1881, released by BSI as part of their CAV PAS programme. This specification is about Assuring the Safety of Automated Vehicle Trials and Testing.

To watch the video please click here.

Report: Automated systems need stronger safeguards to keep drivers focused on the road

March 2020

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has issued a set of research-based safety recommendations on the design of partially automated driving systems. The guidelines emphasize how to keep drivers focused on the road even as the vehicle does more of the work.

Today's partially automated systems still need the driver to be involved at all times. That means they need robust methods of monitoring driver engagement and more effective ways of regaining the driver's attention when it wanders. Designs should also be based on a principle of shared control, and they should have built-in limits that prevent them from being used on roads and under conditions where it isn't safe to do so, IIHS researchers say.

As part of that philosophy of shared control, partially automated systems shouldn't change lanes or overtake other vehicles without driver input. They should also be responsive to driver steering input even when automatic lane centering is engaged.

"Unfortunately, the more sophisticated and reliable automation becomes, the more difficult it is for drivers to stay focused on what the vehicle is doing," says IIHS President David Harkey. "That's why systems should be designed to keep drivers actively engaged."

To read the full report click here.

Report: Automatic for the people? Issues and options for transport authorities on connected and automated vehicles

March 2020

The Urban Transport Group represents the seven strategic transport bodies. They ave produced a report that aims to provide an objective framework for city regions to think about connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and the approaches they might take to them.

Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) can be considered a ‘Marmite’ issue. People tend to either instinctively love or hate the idea of fully autonomous vehicles with little middle ground. Reports on the subject are often equally polarised, taking either an evangelical or a doom-laden tone as they imagine the utopia or dystopia they will eventually unleash. Some imagination is required in either case given that nobody can say for certain exactly how CAVs will evolve, at what pace and with what consequences.

Whilst this report cannot give definitive answers as to what the future trajectory for the development of CAVs will be, it does aim to provide an objective framework for city regions to think about CAVs, their implications for wider priorities and the approaches they might therefore take.

Download the report here.