BY SABRINA JOHNSON
Roads full of driverless cars are one step closer thanks to some ground-breaking research.
A research consortium has just completed phase one of a three-year project to accelerate the development of intelligent and safe autonomous vehicles.
MOVE_UK is jointly funded by the UK government and the motor industry.
The “real world testing” started on the streets of Greenwich in August 2016.
It involved council workers driving more than 30,000 miles around the borough in a fleet of Land Rovers fitted with special sensors.
The sensors gathered data from the vehicles, which was then automatically transferred to a central cloud where researchers were able to analyse it remotely using newly developed tools.
The data will allow researchers to analyse how automated driving functions respond in real world scenarios, helping to ensure future autonomous cars drive in a natural way.
The leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Cllr Denise Hyland said; “We are pleased to be part of the MOVE_UK consortium, which is delivering ground breaking research.
“The council is committed to understanding the impacts of autonomous driving technologies and the opportunities they will provide to local residents and businesses.
“The project links to our work on smart cities and smart mobility and is one a series of projects taking place in the borough’s smart mobility living lab.”
The next two phases of the research project will see additional sensors added to the test vehicles, so that by the end of the project the data gathered will be full 360-degree surround sensing.
Arun Srinivasan is executive vice president and head of mobility solutions at Bosch UK.
He said: “This ground-breaking project is a major step for the UK in becoming a world leader in automated and connected vehicle technology.
“The data collected is particularly valuable, as it is being generated through ‘real world’ driving, rather than from the test track.
“As the project’s lead partner, we are pleased that the new validation method being trialled takes us one step closer to fully autonomous driving and to our vision of accident-free and stress-free driving for thefuture.”
Greg Clark MP, Business and Energy Secretary said: “Low carbon and self-driving vehicles are the future and the UK is determined to be one of the leaders in this technological revolution.
“Through our industrial strategy, the Government is laying the foundations to ensure the UK seizes the opportunities presented by the next generation of vehicles.
“Government investment in the MOVE_UK programme is helping deliver pioneering research into the real world application of this technology.”
MOVE_UK hopes the research in Greenwich will not only help to reduce the time taken to test automated vehicles and bring them to market sooner but also to enable other
businesses such insurers to start developing models for when automated driving technology becomes a reality.