BSI launches standards programme to accelerate British leadership in automated vehicles

16 July 2019 

Supporting the safe deployment of automated vehicles and helping drive the UK’s world-leading position

BSI, the business improvement company, has launched a pioneering programme of standardization to support the safe deployment of connected and automated vehicles (CAV).

Working in partnership with the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, the Department for Transport, Innovate UK and Zenzic, the aim of the programme is to provide guidance and technical standards that will accelerate the safe and successful deployment of automated vehicles and promote UK capability in areas such as CAV design and testing.

According to government research1, the UK CAV industry is forecast to be worth an estimated £52 billion to the UK by 2035. The anticipated benefits of driverless vehicle technology include fewer collisions caused by driver error; increased productivity; reduced congestion and new and inclusive mobility services.

The new programme will shape some of the emerging technical conversations around automated vehicles and promote UK thought leadership and influence through international standards development and collaboration. BSI has established a cross-stakeholder advisory board that pulls in the leading voices from the UK CAV ecosystem including test beds and companies involved in national CAV trials to identify where the industry needs standards. The programme will consider standardization across areas such as safety, advanced testing, data, cyber security, CAV infrastructure, human factors and the deployment of automated vehicle services.

The first deliverables from the new programme will be two Publicly Available Specifications: PAS 1880 and PAS 1881, relating to safety of automated vehicle development and testing.  These are scheduled to be published in early 2020.

  • PAS 1880 will create guidelines for assessing the safety of control systems in automated vehicles 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 will provide assurance to any concerned stakeholders that risks from CAV trials and testing have been adequately managed and will be informed by the work of UK self-driving hub, Zenzic.

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.”

Dr Scott Steedman, Director of Standards at BSI, said: “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. A set of strong, widely accepted standards will cement the UK’s global lead in this space and promote greater trust in these technologies. This important programme of work will add to our existing portfolio of innovative standards in areas such as automotive cyber security, robot ethics and smart cities.”

Richard Porter, Director of Technology and Innovation at Zenzic, said of the new BSI PAS 1881 on Assuring the Safety of Automated Vehicle Trials and Testing: “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. The BSI programme perfectly complements the work that Zenzic with TRL and our UK test beds partners have done to ensure there is a unified safety framework across all UK testing and development facilities.”

BSI’s CAV programme will help to inform UK contributions into related international standards activity in the area and inform wider industry thinking on the supporting eco-system for CAVs.

To get involved in the programme and to find out more about the development of any of the projects mentioned please contact or visit                              


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Notes to Editor:

1 Source of CAV research: