BSI launches standards programme for automated vehicles

UK business improvement company BSI has partnered with the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, the Department for Transport, Innovate UK and self-driving hub Zenzic to launch a programme of standardisation to support the safe deployment of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs).

The programme aims to provide guidance and technical standards to speed up the deployment of automated vehicles, while also promoting the UK’s capabilities in areas such as CAV design and testing.

The partners hope that the initiative will help to shape some of the technical conversations around automated vehicles, while promoting the UK’s sector expertise through international standards development and collaboration.



BSI has established an advisory board to ensure that stakeholders from across the industry can help to identify where standards are needed. In particular, it will consider areas such as safety, advanced testing, data, cyber security, CAV infrastructure, human factors and the deployment of automated vehicle services.

“Successful deployment of automated vehicles in the UK depends on overcoming a wide range of challenges in infrastructure, public safety and changes to traditional automotive manufacturing, particularly in relation to software, sensors and new methods of validation and testing,” said Dr Scott Steedman, Director of Standards at BSI.

“A set of strong, widely accepted standards will cement the UK’s global lead in this space and promote greater trust in these technologies.”

BSI plans to publish two Publicly Available Specifications relating to the safety of automated vehicle development and testing early next year: PAS 1880 and PAS 1881.

  • PAS 1880 will set guidelines for assessing the safety of automated vehicle control systems – from driverless pods to full production vehicles. It will help companies designing automated vehicles for use in trials and on public roads to assess with more confidence the safety-levels of their end-product, systems and components.

  • PAS 1881, to be informed by the work of self-driving hub Zenzic, will provide assurance to any concerned stakeholders that risks from CAV trials and testing have been adequately managed.

“We believe that clear and commonly understood guidance on how to test self-driving vehicles is a critical enabler to accelerate their delivery and foster public acceptance,” said Richard Porter, Director of Technology and Innovation at Zenzic.

“The BSI programme perfectly complements the work that Zenzic with TRL and our UK Testbeds partners have done to ensure there is a unified safety framework across all UK testing and development facilities.”

Future of Mobility Minister Michael Ellis said: “Self-driving vehicles have the potential to transform the way we travel, helping improve road safety while creating economic benefits.

“The introduction of these new standards will ensure safety remains our top priority, as we work to accelerate the successful introduction of exciting pioneering technology.”


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