Roads in Coventry and Birmingham are set to become a world-class UK testbed for developing the next generation connected and autonomous (CAV) vehicles, thanks to a new £25m programme of investment being led by WMG at the University of Warwick.
The pioneering venture, undertaken by a consortium of research and industry partners, will make UK roads ready for CAVs by developing wireless networks, analysing how vehicles behave in real urban environments and involving the public in their evaluations.
The UK Central CAV Testbed will be based on 50 miles of urban roads in Coventry and Birmingham, creating a connected infrastructure and eco-system, and positioning the Midlands as a centre for cutting-edge automotive and communication technologies.
Professor Paul Jennings, an expert in CAV technology from WMG, is leading the project, commented:
“I am thrilled to be working alongside our consortium partners on the UK Central CAV Testbed which will form a key part of the new UK Testing Infrastructure.The Midlands has a proud heritage of pioneering vehicle development, and I am delighted to be part of the next era – bringing CAVs onto the road and allowing all of us to reap the benefits as soon as possible.”
The control room for the testbed will be located within the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC) – a unique centre based at Warwick University, which will provide a critical mass of research capability combining automotive expertise nationally and internationally.
The development and deployment of autonomous vehicles is driven by the need to reduce traffic congestion and accidents on our roads, as well as business opportunities for the automotive, communications, infrastructure and transport sectors in the UK.