Road Rules platform for safe autonomous vehicle deployment launched by Inrix

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One of the leaders in connected car services and transportation analytics, Inrix, has launched a new autonomous vehicle platform that connects road authorities with vehicle operators and lays the foundation for the safe and effective deployment of highly Automated vehicles (HAVs) on public roads.

HAVs are currently testing on public roads in fewer than 50 cities around the world, but more markets are interested in bringing this new technology to their streets. Inrix has developed its new AV Road Rules as the first platform that enables cities and road authorities to assign, validate and manage traffic rules and restrictions for autonomous vehicles operating on public roads. The platform also makes use of real-time information from AVs to report infrastructure improvement needs, making the roads safer for all users.

For more than a century, road authorities have communicated driving restrictions with terrestrial signage and lane-striping, but this can be an inexact way to communicate rules to an AV. Currently, onboard sensors, computer vision, machine learning and/or third-party datasets are used to triage roadway guidelines, but this approach is imprecise, costly and increases the risk of rule violations.

Inrix’s new AV Road Rules platform enables cities and road authorities to quickly and easily digitize their particular restrictions, such as speed limits, crosswalks, school zones, bus lanes, and stop signs, allowing auto makers and HAV operators to ensure vehicles comply with local guidelines. The platform also creates a channel to communicate road infrastructure needs from HAVs back to transportation agencies to help improve their asset management and maintenance.

At launch, seven cities and road authorities and four HAV operators have signed on to support AV Road Rules, and many more have expressed interest in joining when it expands later this year. The initial set of pilot users includes cities and road authorities with a variety of sizes, climates and geographies: Austin (Texas); Boston and Cambridge (Massachusetts); Portland (Maine); the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (including Las Vegas, Nevada); and Transport for West Midlands and Transport Scotland in the UK.

Auto makers and operators slated to use the platform at launch include: Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), May Mobility, nuTonomy (an Aptiv company), and operators running Renovo’s Aware platform. The initial set of partners will help refine and expand the platform to improve a crucial tool for road authorities to fulfill their traditional role of setting and maintaining traffic rules and restrictions.

“Self-driving vehicles are stimulating conversations globally, but they are in fact a very local challenge,” noted Chris Holmes, senior manager for CAV research at JLR. “Road conditions and layouts can vary drastically over a matter of miles, and so it is vital that self-driving is facilitated collaboratively.

“Local traffic authorities play a significant role in this. Inrix AV Road Rules provides improved information to the car, ensuring our self-driving technology is the most safe, sophisticated and capable to deal with challenging real-world environments as we enter new markets across the globe.”

Avery Ash, head of autonomous mobility at Inrix, commented, “AV Road Rules marks an essential new tool for transportation agencies to lay a foundation for the safe operation of HAVs on public roads.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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