UK ITS development & test facility gets the go-ahead

UK ITS development & test facility gets the go-ahead

The facility is the result of a collaboration between innovITS, MIRA and TRL, with £6.5 million funding support provided by Advantage West Midlands, and will provide an environment for ITS technologies to be developed into commercial products.

The first phase of innovITS – ADVANCE is expected to open to customers from the global automotive and telecommunications industries and highways operators and authorities, in late spring next year, with four further phases of development on the existing MIRA site being developed in the coming years

innovITS – ADVANCE CEO Phil Pettitt said that, to date, a major obstacle to the realisation of products based on ITS technologies has been the lack of a dedicated, safe, secure and comprehensively equipped testing infrastructure in which crucial development efforts can take place. The creation of innovITS – ADVANCE aims to remove this roadblock to progress.

The new innovITS – ADVANCE centre will comprise a number of circuits offering the ability to replicate a wide range of real-world traffic scenarios – including, for example, complex urban multi-lane intersections and bi-directional flows – any of which may be subjected to numerous traffic control systems and strategies.

Each of the test circuits will be comprehensively instrumented with numerous telecomms networks including GSM, GPRS and WiFi, and monitoring systems including accurate position monitoring technologies. All of these telecomms and electronic monitoring systems will be capable of being controlled precisely and individually by the centre's customers in order to thoroughly test new telematics-based innovations in any potential operating environment that may be encountered in real-world application.

The first phase of development will involve the construction of a ‘city' circuit – an extensive network of roads, traffic islands, roundabouts and controlled intersections that will enable engineers to replicate the challenges of almost any European urban environment.

Projects that might be carried out by innovITS – ADVANCE customers, include collision avoidance and mitigation; driver behaviour studies; intersection safety; vulnerable road user detection; robustness in poor reception areas; road sign detection; traffic management; ADAS; time/distance position-based charging; and autonomous vehicles.

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