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Self-driving trials soon to start in the UK

Real-world testing of autonomous self-driving vehicles will soon begin on roads in central England, with another major partner signing up to the Midlands Future Mobility project.

Horiba MIRA, which incorporates the former Motor Industry Research Association, will apply advanced engineering, research and product testing to the Midlands-based consortium of industry and academic experts.

The consortium is led by WMG, University of Warwick, and includes Amey, AVL, Costain, Coventry University, Horiba MIRA, Transport for West Midlands, University of Warwick and Wireless Infrastructure Group. It is funded by the industrial partners and Innovate UK as part of the wider Meridian Testbed UK initiative.

Midlands Future Mobility 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 and services.

End users will have access to a combination of urban roads, including intersections, junctions and pedestrian controlled areas, with hybrid connectivity and monitoring of tests and trials.

Horiba MIRA’s role in the project includes providing guidance on simulation and modelling. This involves selecting the appropriate simulation and modelling tools to be used for the project, the development of guidance and case studies to support the planning for CAV test cases, and developing driver-in-the-loop and testbed models to aide future CAV testbed trials.

The consortium will be at the heart of the UK’s transport network, making a significant contribution to the UK’s national transport strategy, and will play a crucial role in shaping the transport sector. It will help establish the UK’s presence in the connected and autonomous market and contribute to the UK’s Industrial Strategy.

Project leader Professor Paul Jennings, from WMG, said, “New mobility technology and services will lead to safer, greener and more efficient transportation for people and goods.  The Midlands has a proud heritage in the UK automotive industry. Now our expertise, infrastructure and innovative technologies will set the future for the entire UK road transport system, creating knowledge, developing key skills and contributing to the national economy.”