Seamless, safe, automated: West Midlands roads to become testing centre for CAVs
A diverse testing centre for connected and autonomous vehicles is on its way to the UK as a new consortium, Midlands Future Mobilit – and its project – progresses…
Midlands Future Mobility, a consortium of industry and academic experts, will use over 50 miles of Coventry and Birmingham roads to establish the Midlands as a world class UK centre for the development, and evaluation of, connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) and related technologies.
The consortium is being led by WMG, University of Warwick and includes Amey, AVL, Costain, Coventry University, HORIBA MIRA Ltd, Wireless Infrastructure Group and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).
Midlands Future Mobility aims to transform the way we experience transport through ambitious technology and business innovation. It will firmly establish the UK’s presence in the connected and autonomous vehicle market; contributing to the UK’s Industrial Strategy.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG, commented: “The work of Midlands Future Mobility will help create a world where we can enjoy seamless, safe, automated journeys. It will be a major step change in how we experience transport.”
The selected networked roads cover a range of representative areas and will be the largest, most diverse testing environment in the UK, with the deployment of new roadside infrastructure including smart vehicle monitoring, data analytics and 5G ready wireless infrastructure. By using real-world environments, Midlands Future Mobility will enable a variety of industries to test new vehicle technologies and services, with the aim of improving integration.
WMG’s Professor Paul Jennings, Project Lead, said: “New mobility technology and services will lead to safer, greener and more efficient transportation for both people and goods. The Midlands has a proud heritage in the UK car industry. Now our expertise, new infrastructure and innovative technologies will set the future for the entire UK road transport system, creating knowledge, developing key skill sets and contributing to the national economy.”
For the project, £25 million worth of funding has come from industrial partners and Innovate UK, as part of the wider Meridian Mobility initiative.
Dr Daniel Ruiz, CEO at Meridian Mobility, added: “We are delighted to welcome the launch of Midlands Future Mobility. This is a fundamental pillar of our national capability for the testing and development of connected and self-driving vehicle technologies. The UK’s CAV development ecosystem leverages world-leading transport policy and collaborative investment to accelerate the adoption of the technology and systems which will deliver societal benefits at the earliest opportunity.”