Formal verification of autonomous vehicle platooning

Maryam Kamali, Louise A. Dennis, Owen McAree, Michael Fisher, Sandor M. Veres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The coordination of multiple autonomous vehicles into convoys or platoons is expected on our highways in the near future. However, before such platoons can be deployed, the behaviours of the vehicles in these platoons must be certified. This is non-trivial and goes beyond current certification requirements, for human-controlled vehicles, in that these vehicles can act autonomously. In this paper, we show how formal verification can contribute to the analysis of these new, and increasingly autonomous, systems. An appropriate overall representation for vehicle platooning is as a multi-agent system in which each agent captures the “autonomous decisions” carried out by each vehicle. In order to ensure that these autonomous decision-making agents in vehicle platoons never violate safety requirements, we use formal verification. However, as the formal verification technique used to verify the individual agent's code does not scale to the full system, and as the global system verification technique does not capture the essential verification of autonomous behaviour, we use a combination of the two approaches. This mixed strategy allows us to verify safety requirements not only of a model of the system, but of the actual agent code used to program the autonomous vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-106
Number of pages19
JournalScience of Computer Programming
Early online date14 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2017


  • Agent programming
  • Model checking
  • Vehicle platooning


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