TRL develops roadmap to enable remote operation of CAVs by 2035

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TRL has developed a roadmap to enable the remote operation of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) by 2035 as the final piece of the Project Endeavour programme.

The aim is to provide a pathway to allow the removal of the Safety Driver and Test Assistant roles from an automated vehicle (AV) for remotely operated on-highway operations in the UK. The roadmap provides a high-level overview of the actions required to achieve this and can be used by organisations in the industry, or for research purposes.

The roadmap brings together 11 thematic streams organised around three broader areas to be delivered through UK Government and industry-wide collaboration. These include the following:

1. Industry, users, and society: the milestones include revising legislation and regulations/ standards to facilitate remote operation; establishing licensing requirements for the remote operator and trialling organisations; improving public perception of CAVs and remote operation; and establishing the training and qualification requirements to deliver skilled remote operators.

2. Vehicle and technology: the areas to tackle include defining cybersecurity requirements to support remote operation; data gathering, governance and ownership; Human Machine Interface (HMI) guidance for safe remote operation; establishing network communication requirements to support remote operation; and establishing safety requirements for testing remote operation.

3. Infrastructure: the milestones include the establishment of data sharing requirements and identifying infrastructure requirements to support remote operation.

Camilla Fowler, head of automated transport at TRL, explains: “Our roadmap has been developed based on an extensive literature review, industry stakeholder consultation, expert opinion from TRL, and with reference to other CAV roadmaps such as Zenzic’s in 2020 and TRL’s in the same year. Our aim was to firstly identify the gaps and challenges in the development and adoption of remote operation for CAVs, and then provide a set of recommendations that could address these gaps.

“It is vital that we continue the significant progression the industry has made in moving CAVs forward towards level four and full automation,” adds Fowler. “As part of the UK’s future new mobility requirements, CAVs will be an integral part of the mix. Therefore, we need to do all we can to enable their full potential. This roadmap provides the areas that require work in order to achieve the desired endgame.”

A copy of the roadmap incorporating the proposed timeline of activities can be found at the following link: https://www.trl.co.uk/publications/remote-operation-of-connected-and-automated-vehicles–summary-report-

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).