Fully autonomous vehicles are one step closer to arriving on the UK’s roads, due to the latest round of ground-breaking research from the Move_UK consortium’s first phase of real-world testing.
The consortium, led by Bosch, has completed the first phase in its three-year research program, designed to accelerate the development of automated driving systems and make them intelligent and safe enough for the UK’s roads.
Taking place in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in London, the project has enabled the Move_UK consortium to develop a new validation method that will reduce the time taken to test automated driving systems and bring them to market. The project’s data is gathered from sensors installed on a fleet of Land Rover vehicles that have so far completed more than 30,000 miles (48,280km) of driving on public roads in Greenwich by council workers from their fleet services department.
As part of the new validation method, data is selected and recorded intelligently, which helps to reduce the total volume of data collected and speed up validation of the automated driving functions in the real world. The data is then automatically transferred to a central cloud, allowing researchers to analyze it remotely, using newly developed tools.
As a result, the consortium partners are able to analyze how automated driving functions respond in the real world, helping to ensure that future autonomous vehicles drive in a natural way, retaining the positive driving characteristics of a good driver. The next two phases of the project will see additional sensors added to the test vehicles, so by the end of the project the data gathered will be from full 360-degree surround sensing.
The research program is also allowing Direct Line and The Floow to start developing more accurate insurance models associated with automated driving technology. This has only been possible due to the unprecedented volume of real-world data available, which will help toward providing insurance products and pricing that is more closely linked to risk. At the same time, TRL has started to use the big data resource to develop a UK framework for regulatory and type approval safety requirements for automated driving technologies.
“The completion of the first phase of the project brings us another step closer to seeing autonomous vehicles on UK roads,” noted Richard Cuerden, academy director at TRL. “Through Move_UK we are able to compare the behavior of the automated driving systems with the behavior of human drivers, which, in turn, will help to improve the safety and validation of automation systems.”