INRIX has announced a new platform that will allow authorities to communicate traffic rules to connected and autonomous vehicles, which could in turn provide information about the condition of the highway.
The transportation analytics firm said its INRIX AV Road Rules provides the foundation for cities and highway authorities to communicate with operators for safe and effective deployment of highly automated vehicles (HAVs – equivalent to Level 4 autonomous vehicles) on public roads.
It said the platform is the first that enables authorities to assign, validate and manage traffic rules and restrictions for autonomous vehicles (AVs) operating on public roads.
Avery Ash, the firm’s head of autonomous mobility, said: ‘After talking to hundreds of cities, states and federal officials, and dozens of HAV operators, we identified a critical data gap that INRIX is uniquely positioned to address.
‘INRIX AV Road Rules marks an essential new tool for transportation agencies to lay a foundation for the safe operation of HAVs on public roads.’
Seven cities and road authorities and four autonomous vehicle operators have signed on to support INRIX AV Road Rules, including Transport for the West Midlands and Transport Scotland and Jaguar Land Rover.
Refining the platform
INRIX said its initial partners will help refine and expand the platform to improve a crucial tool for road authorities to fulfill their traditional role of setting and maintaining traffic rules and restrictions.
It said that while HAVs have greatly improved their ability to operate in complex traffic environments, street signs and lane markings are an inexact way to communicate rules to a 21st century vehicle.
The firm added that the current approach of using onboard sensors, computer vision, machine learning and/or third-party datasets to ‘triage’ roadway guidelines is imprecise and costly and increases the risk of rules being broken.
The firm said its new platform enables cities and road authorities to quickly and easily digitize local restrictions such as speed limits, crossings, school zones and stop signs, allowing carmakers and vehicle operators to ensure that vehicles comply with local guidelines.
The platform also creates a channel to communicate road infrastructure needs – such as potholes – from vehicles back to local authorities.
Chris Holmes, connected and autonomous vehicle research senior manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: ‘Self-driving vehicles are stimulating conversations globally, but they are in fact a very local challenge. Road conditions and layouts can vary drastically over a matter of miles and so it is vital that self-driving is facilitated collaboratively. Local traffic authorities play a significant role in this.’