Autonomous vehicles in the UK boosted by the announcement that four groundbreaking projects have been awarded £2.3m funding from the government.
The four projects will determine routes to safe autonomous vehicles.
The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) will work alongside Innovate UK, which is part of UK Research and Innovation, to fund these novel projects. The objective of this competition is to maintain the advancement of technologies to facilitate the safe use of completely autonomous vehicles.
The Oxbotica project
An Oxbotica-led project will be conducted to determine how autonomous goods delivery can be accomplished safely with driverless autonomy. The project will entail collaboration between Ocado Group, which is a UK based innovative online grocery technology company, as a future AV fleet operator.
The second project is being led by Aurrigo. It will utilise testbed sites from around the UK and the National Exhibition Centre grounds in Birmingham to build and authenticate CAV technology, communications systems and cyber security requirements. The project will also work towards reinforcing the safety case for CAVs, offer an enhanced comprehension of the infrastructure necessary for safe operation and inform UK policy.
This is being conducted in order to reach the ultimate objective of eliminating the necessity for an on-board safety supervisor while functioning in a live environment.
The StreetDrone project
The StreetDrone-led project is planning to decrease the time to market for connected and automated vehicle technology in the movement of goods. The project focuses on the application of ‘multi-driver’ vehicles. This can be driven through an in-vehicle operator, remote operator and autonomous driving stack (ADS).
The final project is led by Conigital. This project’s human factors study will be conducted in a simulation environment to ascertain significant usability targets. These will be employed to construct the evolved AV stack for testing on the CAVWAY Testbed and consequently on the Midlands Future Mobility (MFM) Testbed in Coventry.
The winners were announced at the Cenex LCV CAM event at the UTAC Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedford.
Transport Minister, Trudy Harrison, said: “The four projects announced today will help industry understand and overcome the challenges ahead as we seek to deploy safe and secure CAM services in the UK. Helping to secure our global leadership in this exciting, challenging and innovative space.”
Simon Edmonds, Chief Business Officer, Innovate UK, said: “The future of land transport in the UK, especially in urban environments, is increasingly going to be one where autonomous vehicles play a leading role. To make this happen, we have to move forward with solutions that are not only ingenious, but also gain public confidence in these new technologies.
“The pioneering projects for which we have announced funding today will help to drive this ambition forward.”