Workshop on Verification and Validation for Autonomous Road Vehicles – 4 November 2016

Organised by the EPSRC’s Network on the Verification and Validation of Autonomous Systems, we held a one-day workshop on 4th November 2016 at the University of Liverpool, London campus, bringing together experts on regulations and standards relating to autonomous road vehicles with those developing verification and validation techniques.


Autonomous road vehicles are being developed and are beginning to be tested on UK roads. Yet:

  • standards/regulation yet to catch up with progress in this area
  • there is relatively little ‘autonomy’ in these vehicles (yet)
  • manufacturers appear wary of this increased autonomy
  • public/government have concerns over these (‘autonomous’) vehicles

The UK has the potential, not only to be at the forefront of the development and deployment of autonomous road vehicles, but to be leading in the area of developing and deploying safe, legal, trustworthy, etc, autonomous road vehicles.



The aim of this workshop was to bring together those involved in developing such vehicles (aka “driverless” cars), those involved in regulation/certification, and academics producing research on new verification and validation (V&V) techniques for autonomous systems, etc, with the aims being to explore:

  • Modifying regulations: autonomous road vehicles are being developed and are beginning to be tested on UK roads; how can regulation catch up and how can it be made to relate to V&V techniques?
  • Cross-fertilisation: many of the different regulatory, development, and academic branches are tackling increased autonomy so are there obvious overlaps?
  • Direction for academics: there is a lot of V&V work going on in universities, but what are the most productive future methods and how might they be developed and applied?
  • Future: across many sectors, increased autonomy is either (a) assumed to involve nothing different, or (b) avoided, so how can academic work showing how to control/verify autonomy be used?

We explored not what to do “now”, but what the engineering, regulatory, and verification and validation (V&V) landscapes should look like in 5-10 years as road vehicles become much more sophisticated, and potentially more autonomous.


There was a range of talks from across many relevant areas, together with discussions, aimed to increase interaction, promote discussion, and also highlight:

  • Where we want to be in 5-10 years concerning autonomy, regulation, etc.
  • Where are the gaps in V&V that need to be filled to achieve this?
  • Who, and how, should work towards filling these gaps?


  • Joanne White – Highways England
  • Toks Akinseye -BEIS Centre for Connected Autonomous Vehicles
  • Alan Stevens TRL
  • Helen MonkhouseHoriba-Mira
  • Tony Pipe – Bristol Robotics Lab
  • Richard Romano – University of Leeds
  • Sandor VeresUniversity of Sheffield


  • 9:00  Registration and coffee
  • 9:30  Morning session
  • 11:00 Break
  • 12.30 Lunch
  • 1.30 Afternoon session
  • 2.30 Break
  • 4.00 Finish


University of Liverpool in London
33 Finsbury Square