£100m autonomous vehicle development centre nears completion in the Midlands
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Self-driving vehicles are a significant step closer to becoming a reality on public roads with the construction of a revolutionary new ecosystem nearing completion in the Midlands.
Set to provide the UK with the most complete environment for the acceleration of future mobility, the new, globally-unique autonomous vehicle development centre – known as ASSURED CAV – has been developed by leaders in automotive engineering, HORIBA MIRA. It has been specifically designed to enable the automotive industry, policy makers and government to develop autonomous vehicle technology, ensuring it is robust to the wide range of eventualities seen on public roads, before being released to consumers.
ASSURED CAV’s combination of facilities and capabilities are set to open in March 2021 and is a culmination of £100m investment made over recent years – it includes:
- A high-speed facility enabling autonomous vehicles to be tested at the limit of controllability – specifically designed for performing scenario-based testing, the facility will enable the testing of driving scenarios such as traffic merging and lane keep assist to be conducted to international regulatory protocols
- Urban environments where vehicles will experience pedestrians and cyclists, complex junctions and on-street parking
- A purpose-built multi-storey car park which will support the development of automated valet parking – car passengers will exit their vehicle, for it to then find its own parking space, returning to the passenger at a designated waiting area when requested
- An ultrafast 5G mobile private network supported by Vodafone, which will allow vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications to be verified, as well as testing infotainment and cybersecurity
- An extensive portfolio of digital replicas where simulated testing can be scaled, reinforcing physical testing. It can also be accessed virtually so technology can be tested from anywhere in the world
- An on-site network of campus roads complemented by a 300km network of adjacent CAV-enabled public roads equipped with a range of intelligent transport systems enabling real-world road trials
- Full complement of advanced robotic targets and supporting junction layouts adhering to relevant protocols for a full suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) testing
Declan Allen, Managing Director at HORIBA MIRA said: “We’ve been on a journey to create ASSURED CAV; it represents many years of intense research and investment to bring together one of the most comprehensive CAV validation ecosystems in the world.”
Chris Reeves, Head of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technologies at HORIBA MIRA, said: “Supported by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles as part of CAM Testbed UK, ASSURED CAV demonstrates that HORIBA MIRA is again at the forefront of Government and industry’s collaborative approach to ensuring the UK is the best place in the world to develop and deploy CAM.
ASSURED CAV enables leading manufacturers of self-driving technology to design, develop and test them from one globally accessible location – bringing with it benefits in terms of logistics by reducing prototypes and team movements. With mounting Brexit and coronavirus-related challenges, ASSURED CAV negates the need to send teams and products to multiple locations to fulfil engineering and test requirements, reducing time and costs in an industry where the level of required investment is incredibly high. As an added asset, automakers can base themselves at HORIBA MIRA through the MIRA Technology Park and sit alongside over 35 established mobility providers working on the latest technologies.