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Automation & Infrastructure: The concept of ISAD classes

May 7, 2020

To determine the degree of automation of a vehicle, the so-called SAE levels were developed. But an automated vehicle alone is not enough - the digital infrastructure plays an equally important role. In order to be able to coordinate these components and to make them categorizable, the INFRAMIX project developed the classification scheme of the ISAD classes.

In order for automated and networked driving to function smoothly in the future and to be integrated into the mobility system, several influencing factors must be taken into account. For example, sensors are needed to detect the environment of a vehicle. In addition, traffic information and sensor data can be provided by the infrastructure to give the vehicle valuable clues for expanding this perception horizon. Vehicles, for example, can be communicated by the infrastructure "Use lane 2, as there is a construction site on lane 1 in 500 metres". The digital road infrastructure will play an important role especially during the transition phase from conventional to automated vehicles. The more "intelligent" the infrastructure is, the more efficient and safe the transport network will be.

Infrastructure Classification Scheme for Automated Driving

For this reason, the so-called Infrastructure Classification Scheme for Automated Driving (ISAD) was developed within the EU-funded project INFRAMIX. ISAD is a simple classification scheme that indicates the support of automated vehicles by the infrastructure on five possible levels A to E - where A represents the highest level, while E means that there is no digital infrastructure at all.
The scheme is intended to support the timely introduction of infrastructure networks suitable for automation. Additional sources of information can reduce interruptions of automated driving and thus the "return" to the human driver. For example, it could be possible for automated vehicles to travel over longer periods of time and distances within an Operational Design Domain (ODD)* that is "manageable" for the respective driving function of the vehicle. In this way, there is less frequent transfer of driving tasks between the driving system and a human driver.
"The classification of the support offered by the infrastructure for automated vehicles can accelerate the further development of the interaction between vehicles and the infrastructure and thus contribute to a safe and efficient transport system", says Martin Dirnwöber, Project Manager of INFRAMIX

*An ODD defines the conditions under which an automated driving system can be operated. Among others, this concerns components such as road types, speed ranges, weather, day/night. More about ODDs can be found in the Monitoring Report 2018