Autonomous vehicle safety standards to be set by Warwick academic
Autonomous vehicles' safety will be tested by researchers at WMG, University of Warwick—thanks to a seven-year UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) Future Leader Fellowship awarded to Dr. Siddartha Khastgir, worth £1.2 million ($1.46 million).
In order to prove that CAVs are safer than human drivers, it’s been suggested the vehicles need to be driven for more than 11 billion miles. However, instead of the number of miles, researchers say it is more important to focus on the experiences of the CAV in those miles to identify any smart miles which expose failures.
Khastgir’s fellowship aims to develop testing methodologies and international standards to enable robust and safe use of CAV, particularly focusing on creating both fundamental knowledge and applied research methods and tools.
WMG, University of Warwick, has created a concept of the “evaluation continuum” for CAV, which involves using various environments like digital world, simulated environment, test track testing, and real-world for testing.
There are two aspects which are common to each of the evaluation continuum environments and also the focus areas of the fellowship research:
- Test scenarios: exposing failures of the CAV
- Safety evidence: establishing how safe is safe enough.
As a part of this fellowship, three approaches will be explored to identify the smart miles which expose any CAV failures including:
- Using Machine Learning based methods including Bayesian Optimization to create test cases for test scenarios
- Safety of The Intended Functionality (Innovative safety analysis of CAV) based test scenarios using Systems Theoretic Process Analysis
- Translating real-world data into executable test scenarios for a simulation tool.
All these approaches will together contribute to the creation of a UK’s National CAV Test Scenario Database. Khastgir has previously written about enabling British CAV deployment and the role of standards for the BSI (British Standards Institute), and hopes to build on the fellowship research outcomes to build standards for national and international purposes.
“The global connected and autonomous vehicles industry is estimated to be worth over £50 bn by 2035, with the UK CAV industry comprising over £3 billion of this, however questions around safety are always raised, by the automotive industry and the public,” said Khastgir. “This hinders the process of commercializing CAVs, however my UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to research the safety of CAVs can help the Department for Transport, the automotive industry, and the public to be reassured that they are safer than human drivers.”
For more information, visit warwick.ac.uk.