Jaguar Land Rover to create smart city testing site in Shannon
The Future Mobility Campus Ireland will feature smart junctions, connected roads, and even an air corridor for UAVs from the nearby Shannon Airport to be tested in.
The smart cities hub will enable products to be tested in a real-world environment. Credit: JLR
Jaguar Land Rover is partnering with global software, mobility and telecoms companies to create a smart city hub that will allow real-world testing of connected technology where self-driving vehicles share the streets with cars, pedestrians and cyclists.
The Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) will, according to Jaguar Land Rover, be a collaborative testbed spread across 12km of public roads, providing the facilities and expertise to harness valuable sensor data, simulate a variety of road environments and traffic scenarios and trial new technologies.
The company says that the testbed will advance its research into autonomous, connected, electrified and shared vehicles – which it says is a key part of its commitment to making societies safer and healthier with pioneering technology.
The real-world facility will be equipped with sensors throughout the site, along with high-accuracy location systems, a data management and control centre and self-driving prototype vehicles. It will feature smart junctions, connected roads, autonomous parking and electric vehicle charging as well as links to a 450km stretch of connected highway and a managed air traffic corridor for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Shannon airport along the Shannon Estuary in Ireland.
Russell Vickers, CEO of FMCI, stressed the importance of the new site to the company’s innovation: “The smart city zone provides a first-class facility for global companies to work together and develop world-leading technology, from autonomous vehicles to connected infrastructure.
“The testbed provides an opportunity to test in the real world and help answer some of the questions posed by the future of mobility in a collaborative and efficient way.”
Jaguar Land Rover is a lead partner of the FMCI and will collaborate with a host of other global technology companies to develop the facility, including Cisco, Seagate, Renovo, Red Hat, Valeo and Mergon. Traditionally such testing sites have been established overseas, but the FMCI will provide Jaguar Land Rover with a key research site next to its existing Shannon software hub.
The car manufacturer says it will welcome automotive and technology partners to the site to test their newest innovations in a real-world setting, before a potential product release.