UK Cite Autonomous Test Facility Up and Running

An advanced new ‘real world’ testing site has been completed for autonomous vehicles and cyber security testing in the UK.

Dubbed UK Cite, the project expects to create challenging environments to test driverless and wireless communications technologies in the specially designed test facility alongside on-going large-scale trials on a road network in the Midlands.

The £7.1M ($9.1M) project, which includes investment from the UK government’s Intelligent Mobility Fund and Highways England, has concluded with a demonstration held at the Coventry Transport Museum and on-road demonstration using a fleet of Jaguar Land Rover connected vehicles.

Focusing on creating a Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2X) test environment, UK CITE instigated the installation of ITS G5 roadside units in Coventry and on the M40, M42, A45 and the A46 road network. These units enable messages displayed on smart motorway overhead gantry signs to be replicated in vehicles using in-vehicle information (IVI) messages. The messages transmitted include road works warning, traffic condition warning, emergency electronic braking and emergency vehicle warnings.

The project has been run by a consortium jointly led by Visteon Engineering Services and Jaguar Land Rover and includes Coventry City Council, Coventry University, Highways England Company, HORIBA MIRA, Huawei Technologies (UK), Siemens, TfWM, Vodafone Group Services and WMG at University of Warwick.

In addition to on-road trialing of the V2X communications, simulation and modeling enabled the consortium to study the impact of connected technologies in different road, traffic and weather conditions comparing them to non-connected vehicle scenarios. Plans are in place to roll the UK Cite environment into the Midlands Future Mobility program, an investment of over £27M ($34.6M) to create a connected infrastructure and eco-system.

Colin Lee, Jaguar Land Rover V2X Manager said, “Implementing vehicle – to – vehicle (V2V) and vehicle – to – everything (V2X) connectivity offers huge opportunities to improve congestion, safety and efficiency of travel. By working with our partners on UK CITE we have been able to quantify the extent and impact of these benefits for road users. The collaborative nature has accelerated how quickly we can deliver connected technology so we can start improving journeys for our customers in the very near future.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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