Smart Transport

Zenzic and Thatcham Research reveal plans for automated driving safety ratings

Self-driving vehicle

Zenzic and Thatcham Research have announced plans for a consumer ratings scheme for automated driving systems.

Initially, the independent rating will focus on automated lane keeping systems (ALKS), which could see motorists driving hands-free on UK motorways at limited speeds within a year.

The objective of the project is that it will act as a basis for consumer safety rating of future automated driving systems, and it is anticipated that it will later be adopted by consumer safety organisations such as Euro NCAP, according to Zenzic.

Jonathon Hewett, chief executive of Thatcham Research, said: “The advent of automated driving promises to bring a host of benefits spanning safety, mobility and the environment.

“To realise this potential, we are developing an independent consumer safety rating scheme to foster confidence in the technology and its ability to control the vehicle.

“Not all automated driving systems will be made equal. Therefore, an independent consumer safety rating will drive best practice, while helping consumers to make informed choices and trust that it is safe to relinquish control.”

The project, which is funded by the Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, and coordinated by Zenzic, will be led by Thatcham Research.

Earlier this year, Zenzic put together new safety guidance to create a framework for testing driverless vehicles on public roads.

Organisations from the CAM Testbed UK will work together to develop capabilities and test procedures that will evaluate future connected and automated mobility systems like ALKS, said Zenzic.

Partners include Automotive Electronics Innovation (AESIN), Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG, the Midland Future Mobility Testbed), HORIBA Mira (Assured CAV) and IDIADA (CAVWAY).

Zenzic said the safety rating scheme will support the safe adoption of automated driving systems by providing UK motorists and insurers greater clarity around the performance and safe use of automated technology.

Mark Cracknell, head of connected and automated mobility (CAM) at Zenzic, said: “It is an extremely exciting time for CAM and the aims of this project will not only provide confidence in safety for both consumers and insurers, but it could also place the UK as a global leader in the introduction, adoption and use of automated driving systems.”

The project aims to have a proof of concept delivered in March 2022.

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