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Connected and Automated Vehicle Technologies – Insights for Codes and Standards in Canada

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Transportation will rapidly change and evolve with the advancement of connectivity and automation technology.

Connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) will fundamentally change the way people and goods are transported from one place to another. Ensuring the safety of their operation and maintaining a safe transportation network will be paramount for the seamless integration of CAVs on public roads.

Primary and secondary research was used in this study to develop an understanding of the existing work and standards landscape, as well as to identify the gaps that require attention. Key stakeholder interviews were conducted with representatives from public sector agencies, academia, private organizations, and members on standards committees to gather their input and perspectives on the needs and perceived gaps within codes and standards. These results were reconciled with industry research and a literature review to complete a comprehensive analysis of the codes and standards landscape.

The existing standards for CAVs are categorized into five main groups:

  • Digital Infrastructure – relating to how equipment stores and exchanges of data support intelligent transportation services;
  • Physical Infrastructure – relating to the physical roadway infrastructure upon which the transportation system operates;
  • Usage, Human-Machine, and Accessibility – relating to the standards focused on use cases, accessibility needs, and human-machine interfaces for CAVs;
  • Cybersecurity, Data Training, and Privacy – relating to the administrative, physical, and technical actions associated with the security, integrity, and privacy of data and networks, as well as algorithm training;
  • Vehicle Aspects – relating specifically to vehicles and onboard equipment supporting automation, connectivity, and safety.

CAVs and the application of these technologies continue to evolve and, in some cases, continue to do so in the absence of standards. This study identifies areas of focus to address critical needs and fill many of the gaps and questions around CAV development, deployment, and safety. The critical needs and potential gaps identified were grouped into eight themes:

  • Harmonization and Interoperability – need for consistency of standards across regions and countries, as well as the ability for technology to effectively interact and cooperate with each other;
  • Uncertainty with Enabling Communication Technologies – uncertainty with the communication technology and spectrum allocation that is endorsed and supported by government agencies and widely used by manufacturers;
  • Compliance Verification – gaps in standards and processes to verify that technology meets safety, security, and interoperability requirements;
  • Physical Infrastructure – gaps in standards for physical infrastructure to accommodate CAV technologies;
  • Operational Design Domain – gaps in standards and regulations regarding where, and under what conditions, CAVs are currently able to safely and efficiently operate;
  • High Definition Mapping and Localization – gaps related to the development and availability of high definition (HD) mapping and localization technology to support the operation of CAVs;
  • Cybersecurity and Protection of Privacy – critical needs for standards and security frameworks related to cybersecurity and privacy protection, specific to the CAV industry;
  • Technology Maturity – gaps that are reflective of the fact that AV-enabling technologies have issues in some scenarios and all circumstances (e.g., operations in non-optimal conditions).

These eight theme areas identify opportunities where participation in standards development activities and/or coordination on related efforts would help ensure that standards, guidelines, and frameworks are established to help support safe operation and widespread adoption of CAV technologies.

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