Wednesday, 1 June 2016

UK connected driving trials next year

Trials could begin in the UK next year on one of the world’s most advanced environments for connected and autonomous driving.

Japan-based Horiba's investment in the former Motor Industry Research Asoociation's (MIRA) facilities in Nuneaton, UK are about to pay dividends. Horiba MIRA is just one of a group of organisations which have made a successful application for funding from government’s £100 million Intelligent Mobility Fund. Also participating is vehicle builder JaguarLandRover.
The fund, which has been established to accelerate research and development in connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, is administered by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and delivered by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
The unique UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment (UK CITE) will enable automotive, infrastructure and service companies to trial connected vehicle technology, infrastructure and services in real-life conditions on 40 miles of roads within Coventry and Warwickshire.
The project will aim to establish how technology can improve journeys, reduce traffic congestion and provide in-vehicle entertainment and safety services through better connectivity.
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The UK CITE consortium comprises leading industry, academic and local and national governmental organisations. It is jointly led by Visteon Engineering Services Limited and JaguarLandRover (JLR) and includes Coventry City Council, Coventry University, Highways England Company Ltd, Horiba MIRA, Huawei Technologies (UK) Ltd, Siemens, Vodafone Group Services Ltd, and the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at University of Warwick. (WMG is never far removed from any JLR technology programme – such is their close association bearing in mind JLR’s ownership roots.)
The UK CITE project will create the UK’s first fully connected infrastructure on public roads using a combination of wireless technologies, which can enable real-world testing in a safe and managed way.
Phase One will continue until the end of 2016 and will include the preparation of infrastructure on routes along the M40, M42, A46, and A45 – as well as an urban route in Coventry – and the preparation of a Vehicle, Systems and Gantry App, which will ensure variable roadside messages appear in-vehicle, either on the vehicle display or smartphone. Finally, pre-test trials will take place on Horiba MIRA’s City Circuit.
Tony Harper, JLR head of research and technology, said: “This real-life laboratory will allow Jaguar Land Rover’s research team and project partners to test new connected and autonomous vehicle technologies on five different types of roads and junctions. Other research corridors already exist in other parts of Europe. This test route with its mixture of road types and technology deployment is challenging the technology operation in real world environments and will provide the insight needed for deployment. This test route is exactly the sort of innovative infrastructure the UK needs to compete globally.”

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