Testing of autonomous vehicles support in the Czech Republic
Brno, 5th May 2020
The Transport Research Centre (CDV) in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and the State Transport Infrastructure Fund has created the Catalogue of the autonomous vehicles testing areas in public roads which is to contribute to creating an attractive environment for development, research, and the testing of autonomous and automated vehicles in the Czech Republic.
Currently, autonomous vehicles are one of the main technological innovations, with the potential to positively affect society, in particular through increased road safety and improvement of transport in general. The support of autonomous mobility, therefore largely testifies the level and development of individual countries. The Czech Republic has been active in this field for a long time and contributes to the development of the sector on many levels. “Most recently thanks to the National Catalogue of the autonomous vehicles testing areas in common traffic,” adds Veronika Valentová, Director of Division of Traffic Engineering, Road Safety and Strategies, The Transport Research Centre (CDV).
The Catalogue released on the 4th May 2020 at https://testovacioblasti.autonomne.cz/ is through its form and scope world-unique tool, which significantly simplifies the work of developers, technicians, software engineers, and other professionals active in autonomous vehicles industry by providing detailed information about specific sections of the Czech public road network. “Thanks to this, there will be possible to view sections of the Catalogue virtually before real testing takes place. It means a road test can be realized as effectively as possible with the knowledge of all conditions related to the transport infrastructure,” explains Ms. Valentová. The Catalogue is prepared in Czech and English that enables its wider use and makes the Czech Republic more attractive within the international environment.
What areas does it include?
The Catalogue of the autonomous vehicles testing areas is made up of two areas. The length of each is more than 500 km, so altogether is more than 2000 km in both directions. The first area located in the Bohemia region includes cities such as Prague, Mladá Boleslav, or Ústí nad Labem. The second area spreads in Moravia and Silesia, whereas the route leads through Brno, Zlín or Kroměříž. Areas are segmented into individual sections. Altogether there are 3 434 sections.
It will significantly simplify and reduce the cost of testing in real operations
The Catalogue takes the form of a web application that contains a database of sections based on the needs of autonomous vehicles. It allows easy filtering of sections by using predefined packages which take into account the type of testing and search through a personalized selection of custom parameters. The selection can also be made from the interactive map directly. Based on the selected parameters, a user will see a list of all sections that meet the specified criteria. Then all these sections can be viewed in detail.
There is also video footage taken during a drive-through of all sections, a moving map showing the exact location, an attribute timeline with a list of main infrastructure elements and last but not least a list of all relevant information such as coverage of different sections of wireless networks, elevation, accident index, and other data affecting testing. “Users of the Catalogue thus receive a very useful tool that will significantly simplify and reduce the cost of testing in real operation,” says Marek Vanžura, co-author of the application from The Transport Research Centre (CDV).
Access is free of charge
Access to the application is free of charge to anyone after previous registration. The only condition for using the Catalogue is to provide feedback on the quality of the information presented through pre-set forms. The feedback in the form of own suggestions for possible improvements, additions, or extensions is also welcome.
Methodical instructions included
In addition to the web application of the Catalogue, the project also contains related documents. At first Methodology for section selection serves as a guide for future possible expansion of the database with new sections. The second Proposal for maintenance and service conditions for test sections and sectors provides instructions on how to work with sections included in the Catalogue to maintain usefulness for testing autonomous vehicles, and the third Framework for operational safety measures represents a manual for ensuring safe test and test operation on sections of the Catalogue.
Who participated in the project?
The project was initiated by the Ministry of Transport, financed by the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure. The Transport Research Centre (CDV) participated in the project in cooperation with O2 Czech Republic, TÜV SÜD Czech, Roboauto, and Czech Technical University in Prague.