The lead academic partner in a £13.4m (US$18m) initiative to create a driverless transport testing area in London has outlined its role in the project, which is due to be up and running by spring 2019.
Based in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London will enable companies to trial their ideas, technology and services within complex public environments, to help them develop new vehicle systems and big city transport applications.
Loughborough University (LU) has been awarded £500,000 (US$676,300) to develop a research program for the project, enabling a real-world working test bed for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). The university’s efforts are aided by the presence of the Loughborough University London (LUL) campus on-site at the Olympic Park. LU will work alongside the other project partners, led by TRL, which include Transport for London (TfL), Costain, Cisco, Cubic, DG Cities and the London Legacy Development Corporation, to develop the R&D program.
LU’s contribution will include research and development into instrumented and connected roads, alongside other consortium partner contributions including: a vehicle fleet for experimental purposes; cooperative intersection management systems; high accuracy GPS; 5G and large-scale vehicle-to-anything communication capability; high-performance data capture and analysis systems and other capabilities. The facilities will bring new research opportunities for the university from automation and robotics, to connectivity and communications, human factors and business areas.
“This is an exciting venture to be a part of and will place the university at the heart of a world-leading research and development facility. It provides a fantastic opportunity for us to focus our research around this rapidly developing new socio-technical area. Intelligent mobility will have a major impact on future transport and this test bed will enable us to be at the forefront of new developments,” said Professor Pete Thomas, who is leading LU’s involvement. “We will be developing a new research program that takes advantage of the facilities and the rapidly developing mobility environment. Companies such as Ford will be increasing their presence at Here East (LUL) to take advantage of the teaching, research and innovation facilities. We will also be working with industry to identify educational and CPD needs. In addition, there will be specific research equipment to meet existing LU needs, while researchers will be able to access the much wider range of equipment in the Living Lab, including roadside, data, communications and vehicles.”