Zenzic Safety Case Framework 2.0 and the development of BSI’s fast-tracked standard for the self-driving future 

We spoke with Richard Porter, Technology and Innovation Director at Zenzic, Camilla Fowler, Head of Risk at TRL and Nick Fleming, Head of Transport and Mobility Standards at BSI about the newly released Safety Case Framework 2.0 and BSI’s PAS 1881Assuring Safety of Automated Vehicle Trials and Testing  

The updated Safety Case Framework 2.0 was developed to include input from BSI’s first PAS 1881, published as part of the Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Standards Programme to help promote safe public trials and testing of automated vehicles.


How does the Safety Case Framework compare to safety cases globally?  

Camilla: I haven’t seen a safety case published for any other AV trial in another country. We can consider it good practice to develop and publish our safety cases in the UK, and so far, we have a clean slate. You can’t always avoid every incident, but I am passionate about ensuring that trials are operated safely and that the risk of a collision is minimised.  

It is important to remember that this is research and development – there is no critical path here which says we have to achieve full Level 5 automation by a certain date. Safety is a priority in the UK, and this framework is a really important step; it demonstrates to a global audience that in the UK we are working together to realise the benefits promised from these new mobility technologies. 

How will transferability of safety cases help testing? 

Richard:  Aligning on a single safety case framework and making it transferable between test locations is critical to lowering friction as companies develop and deliver self-driving vehicles to market. Organisations developing connected and automated mobility (CAM) technologies will no longer have to repeat safety assessments and can be assured that they are using the best practice developed by industry experts. 

How does the Safety Case Framework allow and encourage interoperability across connected and automated mobility CAM Testbed UK?  

Camilla: The safety case framework includes a process for allowing the smooth transition of testing organisations between testbeds. Safety case requirements have been developed in consultation with the testbeds and other stakeholders, meaning that there is already a common understanding of what is required to ensure safety – a key enabler of interoperability. It is important that one safety case standard is recognised by all testbeds. 

The safety case will grow and evolve as the testing complexity increases, but the risk management principles will remain the same. To ensure the standard of a safety case is consistent between testing organisations and acceptance of safety cases is also uniform, it is recommended that safety cases are independently reviewed using standard evaluation criteria. This standardisation of risk management will also enable non-UK based organisations to come to the UK to run trials as the safety requirements are transparent.  

Who has been involved in the development of the Safety Case Framework? 

Richard: Building upon the efforts of the cross-industry group that contributed to our original safety case released in 2019, through BSI’s PAS 1881 Assuring Safety of Automated Vehicle Trials and Testing, we have pooled expertise from across CAM Testbed UK to further develop how we can use the foundational advice to build robust mechanisms to transfer safety assessments between diverse environments. 

What is a PAS and how can it benefit the future of CAM? 

Nick: BSI is the UK’s National Standards Body, that means that we develop standards by bringing together industry, government, academia and other key stakeholders to agree best practice on a given topic.  A fast-tracked standard is known as a Publicly Available Specification (PAS). And like all BSI standards, it is developed through an open and consensus-based process which is independently facilitated by BSI.  

PAS 1881 – assuring safety of automated vehicle trials and testing, is the first release from the CAV Standards Programme which was commissioned by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV). The programme was designed to help accelerate the safe deployment of connected and self-driving vehicles and support UK capability in CAM.  

How will PAS 1881 support the testing of connected and self-driving vehicles in the UK? 

Nick: PAS 1881 Assuring Safety of Automated Vehicle Trials and Testing, is practically a specification which sets out minimum requirements for managing safety when testing and trialing automated vehicles, both on and off public roads.   

It has been designed to help companies running trials and testing to demonstrate to third parties, landowners and the public that a standardised safety case is in place and that risks have been fully considered. In that way it will also provide assurance to local authorities and other stakeholders when trials and testing is taking place on public roads that ifollows good safety practice.  

It is hoped that the PAS will help to accelerate advanced trials and testing of automated vehicles in the UK, but also help to shape any future standards needed to ensure a safe move towards full deployment.  

What does the PAS mean for the UK’s position in CAM? 

Nick: The CAV Standards Programme supports the UK’s leadership position in the CAM industry by setting down early standards for design and safe operation of connected and self-driving vehicles and shaping the future international standards in this area. BSI has been able to harness the experience of innovative connected and self-driving trials and testing already taking place in the UK to develop a world-leading document with PAS 1881, one of the first of its kind globally. 

How are the BSI PAS and Zenzic Safety Case Framework related? 

Nick: PAS 1881 and the Zenzic Safety Case Framework 2.0, were developed in parallel and are intended to complement each other. Practically PAS 1881 will help support trials and development testing of automated vehicles in various environments and acts as a set of overarching requirements for the industry and other stakeholders, whereas the Zenzic Safety Case Framework offers a more targeted set of guidelines, developed with input from CAM Testbed UK, that will promote a common approach to safety across the testbeds. The documents can be used separately or together in demonstrating a robust approach to safety management.  TRL were involved in both projects as technical author. 

What’s next for the Safety Case Framework and safety standards in the UK? 

Richard: As the race to market continues at pace for self-driving technology, we will seek to expand the advice given to include more specific elements including operating in different environments like highways or cities and include more guidance on cyber resilience. Moving forward we will retain a close relationship with BSI to maximise collaboration on further iterations of PAS 1881 and also stay aligned with CCAV on the Code of Practice.  


Download your copy of the Safety Case Framework 2.0 here, or discover more about BSI’s PAS 1881 – Assuring Safety of Automated Vehicle Trials and Testing here 

To discuss safety and the future of mobility in more detail, contact the Zenzic team at info@zenzic.io