Jaguar and Land Rover is investing in a 41 mile ‘living laboratory’ project on UK roads to develop new Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technologies. The new CAV test corridor, which includes 41 miles of roads around Coventry and Solihull, will be used to evaluate new systems in real-world driving conditions.
The £5.5m ‘UK-CITE’ (UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment) project will create the first test route capable of testing both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems on public roads in the UK. New roadside communications equipment will be installed along the route during the three year project to enable the testing of a fleet of up to 100 connected and highly automated cars, including five Jaguar Land Rover research vehicles.
This fleet will test a range of different communication technologies1 that could share information at very high speeds between cars, and between cars and roadside infrastructure, including traffic lights and overhead gantries.
Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, today announced the UK Government’s support for the UK-CITE research with a £3.41 million grant from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. This funding for collaborative research is part of the Government’s £100m Connected and Autonomous Vehicles fund.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “This real-life laboratory will allow Jaguar Land Rover’s research team and project partners to test new connected and autonomous vehicle technologies on five different types of roads and junctions. Similar research corridors already exist in other parts of Europe so this test route is exactly the sort of innovation infrastructure the UK needs to compete globally.
“The connected and autonomous vehicle features we will be testing will improve road safety, enhance the driving experience, reduce the potential for traffic jams and improve traffic flow. These technologies will also help us meet the increasing customer demand for connected services whilst on the move.”
Connected technologies are key enablers for future Intelligent Transport Systems. These would help traffic authorities monitor and manage traffic flow by capturing data from all connected vehicles and then provide the driver or autonomous car with guidance to optimise the journey.
To improve traffic flow, connected cars could co-operate and work together to make lane changing and exiting from junctions more efficient and safer. Technologies like Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC) would enable vehicles to autonomously follow each other in close formation, known as platooning, making driving safer and ensuring road space is used more efficiently.