CAV trials guidance summary

TRL presents a summary of all the relevant regulations and guidance documents to enable a safe and successful CAV technology trial

Published on 19 July 2021

Share this article:

Making sense of which documents apply to CAV trials

The challenge

Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) have the potential to radically change the current transport landscape to make it safer, more efficient and more sustainable. The delivery of CAV trials and testing is a rapidly developing field. As demand to test CAVs on UK roads grows, ensuring the safety of ever-increasingly complex trials is essential to enable successful operation on the road network. Given the fast-changing nature of CAV technology, adopting a consistent and safe approach to testing is a real and present challenge. For all stakeholders involved in trials, understanding the legal requirements to run a trial, knowing which voluntary standards apply, and where to go for best practice guidance, is a steep learning curve.

Regulations; Standards; Best practice – which apply?

The UK is a leader in promoting the development and deployment of CAVs. Along with extensive testing and trialling activity, the UK has developed a range of standards and best practice guidance material to support the safety assurance of trials.

TRL has been central to this, through involvement in multiple CAV trials, such as Gateway, Streetwise and Driven, and more recently with Endeavour and ServCity. As part of preparing for these on-road trials, TRL has been assisting with the progressive evolution of standards and guidance. TRL were principal authors on BS PAS 1881, which specifies the minimum requirements for an operational safety case and is a requirement of the DfT Code of Practice. These two documents are the critical ones in the pack. But the set is growing.

However, with so much guidance available, it can be difficult to discern what applies where and when. To help stakeholders find what is most relevant for them, TRL have created a simple guide which collates and outlines the legislation, standards and best practice guidance relevant to CAV trialling.

Here's the summary of the relevant UK regulations, standards and guidance currently available.  

What’s next?

There are many more phases yet to come in the evolution of regulations governing the use of automated vehicles - in trials, on road and off-road. TRL is currently supporting the Dept for Transport to deliver a GB safety and security approval scheme for highly automated vehicles, which includes development of a framework for in-use monitoring. We are also assisting industry to develop a co-ordinated approach to the safe introduction of off-highway automated vehicles. So there will be plenty more standards, new regulations, and updates to guidance to come, each learning from the previous trials and preparing for the next. Progressing trials and documentation in tandem this way, the UK aims to smoothly transition to safe commercial deployment of automated vehicles.

Get in Touch

Have a question? Speak to one of our experts today