Smart Transport

Common standards and wider industry collaboration needed for UK self-driving vehicle testing success

A set of common standards, terminology and wider collaboration in the industry is needed to help advance the testing of self-driving vehicles in the UK, according to the results from industry consultation.

Zenzic, the self-driving body that links government, industry and academia, worked with Ordnance Survey (OS) to put its ‘analysis and recommendations for self-driving vehicle testing report’ together to address the need for common approaches and standards for the use of geospatial data in connected and automated mobility (CAM) in the UK.

The report contains the results of industry consultation on the subject of self-driving that were collected in 2019.

Key technical insights from the report include:

  • Merging mapping data from regional sources (with over 200 Local Highway Authorities in GB alone) will require streamlining to avoid multiple different ways of processing and handling data.
  • Mapping data quality, specifically accuracy and precision of such data, is seen to be more important than resolution.
  • 10cm (with 5cm for lane boundary information) was posited as suitable resolution for AV systems that use HD maps and 2cm for those that do not.
  • The connected and self-driving technology industries should follow the Gaming, Weather and BIM (Building Information Modelling) sectors when it comes to finding common terminology, in addition to working closely with BSI and the Open Geospatial Consortium.
  • Currently both TN-ITS and ISO 20542 standards are widely used by equipment and vehicle manufacturers. Harmonisation between the two standards will take some time, so testing facilities must initially be able to accommodate both.

The organization also put itself forward as a potential candidate for overseeing all current autonomous and self-driving testing projects in the UK.

It said: “Zenzic is well positioned to provide this governance and ensure that activities are future-proofed. This is a non-trivial piece of work but should be developed with consideration of self-driving vehicles from the outset.

“CAM Testbed UK, funded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and co-ordinated by Zenzic, provides an ideal environment in which to test and develop digital TRO’s in tandem with self-driving technology.”

Daniel Ruiz, Zenzic chief executive, said: “This report shows that the global self-driving vehicle development industry agrees that mapping data needs to be easily shareable for us to achieve the goal of having self-driving vehicles on our streets by 2030.

"When it comes to the maps which will form the basis of how self-driving vehicles see the world, the details matter, from how this data is shared, to what resolution of mapping data is deemed safe.

"The UK is well placed to lead the development of standards and regulation as organisations like OS and BSI have done some for decades.”

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