Autonomous vehicle safety standards to be set by Warwick academic

Dr Siddartha Khastgir, Uni of Warwick

Researchers at Warwick University will be testing the safety standards of autonomous vehicles  thanks to a £1.23 million, seven year UKRI Future Leader Fellowship awarded to Dr Siddartha Khastgir.

Connected autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology prototypes have existed for some time, however questions around the safety of this technology from the public and industry who want to commercialise these technologies has blocked it from developing.

The future with CAV has to be more reliable, more efficient and less risky. So safety testing is essential to informing people’s opinion about this new technology.

In order to prove that CAVs are safer than human drivers, it’s been suggested they need to be driven for more than 11 billion miles. However, instead of the number of miles, The university says that it is more important to focus on the experiences of the CAV in those miles to identify any smart miles which expose failures in CAV.

Dr Khastgir’s fellowship will develop pioneering 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.

He 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.

Dr Siddartha Khastgir, from WMG, University of Warwick said: “The global Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) industry is estimated to be worth more than £50 billion by 2035, with the UK CAV industry comprising more than £3 billion of this, however questions around safety are always raised, by the automotive industry and the public.

“This hinders the process of commercialising CAVs, however my UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to research the safety of CAVs can help Department for Transport, the automotive industry and the public to be reassured that they are safer than human drivers.

“I am incredibly grateful for the UKRI Future Leader Fellowship, as it puts the UK and the University at the forefront for research and development into the safety of CAVs.”

Margot James, Head of Department at WMG, University of Warwick adds: “WMG is very proud that Dr Siddartha Khastgir has been awarded a prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship (FLF). Through Siddartha’s research we can enable the UK to become a world leader in safe CAV deployment.”