One of the UK’s largest collaborative trials of connected and autonomous vehicle technology has been given the green light to move out onto the streets after the UK Autodrive consortium completed its final set of private test track demonstrations.
Project partners Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Ford and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) came together at the HORIBA MIRA Proving Ground in Nuneaton to demonstrate a series of connected car technologies that are now ready to be trialled on the roads of Milton Keynes and Coventry. JLR also presented the latest version of its autonomous vehicle technology.
The three vehicle manufacturers are all taking part in the £20m UK Autodrive research and development project, jointly funded by the government and industry.
It is the first project in the UK to showcase the benefits of having cars that can “talk” to each other.. The partners have demonstrated three of the seven connected car features, including the emergency vehicle warning, intersection collision warning and in-vehicle singane, which are being trialled during the three-year programme.
Tim Armitage, Arup’s UK Autodrive project director, said: “Once the technology becomes widely available, we anticipate huge potential benefits in terms of road safety, improved traffic flow and general access to transport, so we’re really excited about being able to demonstrate this on real roads.”
The first set of public road trials are due to take place by the end of this year, initially on segregated sections of roads, before going into open road trials and demonstrations as the project finishes in summer 2018.
A fleet of up to 40 self-driving pavement-based ‘pod’ vehicles will also be introduced in pedestrianised sections of central Milton Keynes as a separate part of the project.