Automotive Industry to find ‘Sweet Spot’ on CAV Technology Regulation

An expert on regulation in the automotive sector has urged original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to work together with regulators to provide sufficient freedom for connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology to flourish while maintaining high safety standards. Dr Huw Davies, Assistant Professor at the Institute for Future Transport and Cities discussed the issues as part of a webinar on 24 February 2021 hosted by the MIRA Technology Institute (MTI).

Huw highlighted the positive impact that regulation can have on technology development and innovation in the automotive sector, highlighting the case of regulation targeting CO2 emission reduction. Further, he highlighted the benefit of promoting harmonisation in automotive technologies to drive down costs, reduce certification requirements, increase trade across a range of markets and boost resources for research and development. He said that a similar approach could drive the potential for CAV to stimulate economic growth and productivity, enable access to new markets and drive UK innovation.

The impact of regulation on the development of CAV technology provided the agenda for the latest in a series of free online industry webinars from the MTI.

Huw said, “The pace of technology development is threatening to unbalance the existing approach to law and policy on matters including road safety, the design and manufacture of vehicles, insurance, and data protection. It is of primary importance that we respond positively to these issues, looking at new ways in which can regulate, to assist the efficient introduction of new products and also to secure public trust.

“If it is liberated in the right way, CAV technology could potentially contribute to delivery of better energy efficiency, as well as improved air quality and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The industry will also bring investment and employment to the UK as part of the Government’s ambition to reach the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Huw is Assistant Professor, IFTC and Principle Investigator for ASSURED CAV at Coventry University, which, in partnership with HORIBA MIRA, is a member of the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Automotive Research (CCAAR). His research interest is the development of innovative approaches that facilitate technology diffusion and address public policy concerns.

Lisa Bingley, MTI Director of Operations said, “We were delighted to hear from Huw in the latest in our series of webinars which are designed to provide cutting-edge insights on a range of topical industry issues.

“The complexity of existing mobility systems means that introducing CAV is bound to be challenging. Regulation is essential to foster public trust and promote safety, but we need to be careful not to miss out on the fantastic opportunities that such innovation could bring to our environment and the economy.”

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chair of the MTI Operations Board, and Principal and Chief Executive North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “We are pleased to be able to bring experts to the sector to hear about how the industry is evolving and we were delighted to hear from such a high profile and knowledgeable speaker as part of our webinar programme.”

The Institute for Future Transport and Cities develops pioneering mobility solutions. From accelerating the progression towards zero-carbon transport and developing inclusive design practices to ensuring the safe implementation of autonomous transport solutions, IFTC is central to solving global mobility challenges. IFTC works closely with industry to ensure that its research has real-world applications, maintaining close relationships with leading businesses within the transport sector.

The MTI has launched a new and innovative Connected Autonomous Vehicle Systems (CAVS) MSc course designed to provide students from a software engineering, computer science and other similar backgrounds with the required critical skills to produce robust and safe Automated Driving Systems (ADS) for use in CAV applications.

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