New ISO standard for the safety of self-driving vehicles
The new international standard for safe operation of self-driving vehicles, Road Vehicles – Test scenarios for automated driving systems – Specification for operational design domain – ISO 34503, has been published. The standard is laying the foundations for safe deployment of self-driving vehicles by creating a common approach to define the operating conditions of self-driving vehicles, which is also known as the Operational Design Domain (ODD) (i.e., operating conditions).
This standard provides specifications for defining these operating conditions in a common manner. It classifies ODD into three key categories:
- Scenery elements: non-movable elements (e.g., roads, bridges, traffic lights);
- Environment conditions: weather and other atmospheric conditions;
- Dynamic elements: all movable objects and actors.
The importance of the concept of ODD is highlighted in the latest European Union’s Act on Automated Driving System (adopted in Aug 2022) which puts the concept of ODD as a cornerstone of the safety assurance process of an automated vehicle. Similar approaches are being considered at the upcoming regulations at United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
This standard is a big step to facilitate the commercialisation of self-driving vehicles in a wider global society while also safeguarding the safety of this emerging technology. International organisations and local governments or regulatory agencies can use this standard as a guide to develop their regulations and policies on self-driving vehicles. Autonomous vehicle developers and manufacturers can design and test their technology based on internationally aligned safety benchmarks.