Four transport projects receive millions in innovation funding

Driverless cars

Six projects have been awarded £12.1m funding from the Government to develop aspects of connected and autonomous vehicles.

Four of the six have significant West Midlands input.

The COSMOS project is led by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), working with Horiba Mira and the University of Birmingham, and is developing a simulation capability to reduce sensor interference in traffic and therefore improve safety.

JLR is also leading the Sim4SafeCAV consortium, with the University of Warwick and Kangaloosh, to combine simulation to safety for SAE level four autonomous vehicles.

Chris Holmes, connected and autonomous vehicle research senior manager at Jaguar Land Rover said: “Over the past 3 years Jaguar Land Rover have been very fortunate to have worked across multiple CCAV funded projects; successfully propelling the UK to the forefront of connected and autonomous vehicle research worldwide.

“Collaborating with academic and industrial partners has allowed us to significantly improve understanding in this complex technology area and create discussion about autonomous and connected technology.”

Horiba Mira is leading a consortium of eight, which includes JLR, in the development of simulation test system with automated generation of scenarios and realistic virtual actors.

The University of Warwick is one of 11 partners working on the OmniCAV project to develop a testing certification tool that can be used by accreditation bodies, insurers and manufacturers to accelerate the development of connected and autonomous vehicles.

Prof Paul Jennings, head of intelligent vehicles at Warwick Manufacturer Group, and its principal investigator on the OmniCAV project, added: “At WMG we have long believed that simulation will play a key role in testing and certification of CAVs.

“In OmniCAV, we have a diverse and capable set of partners to advance the current state of knowledge, enabling the safe deployment of CAVs to provide benefits for us all.”

The Government is also looking at ways to transform last-mile deliveries on UK roads as part of a broader investigation into transport innovation.

It has published two call for evidence documents, examining last mile and the future of mobility.

It is looking to examine trends in cleaner transport, automation, data and connectivity, new modes, shared mobility, changing consumer attitudes, and new business models.

The government is expecting these trends to lead to safer travel, more accessible transport, cleaner journeys and make cities better to move around and live in.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman, who will visit WMG to officially launch the initiative, said: “We are on the cusp of an exciting and profound change in how people, goods and services move around the country which is set to be driven by extraordinary innovation.

“This could bring significant benefits to people right across the country and presents enormous economic opportunities for the UK, with autonomous vehicles sales set to be worth up to £52 billion by 2035.

“Our Last Mile call for evidence and Future of Mobility call for evidence mark just one stage in our push to make the most of these inviting opportunities.”

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