Ordnance Survey’s E-CAVE mapping project to prepare UK for driverless future


The UK’s mapping service for government, business and citizens, the Ordnance Survey (OS), has been appointed to help shape a national infrastructure capable of supporting a nationwide network of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).

The four-year project lies at the heart of the UK government’s modern Industrial Strategy, and further establishes the country as one of the world’s leading locations in this sector. The E-CAVE project will focus on the challenges of creating effective connected environments using OS’s digital data expertise.

The mapping agency will also be engaged in supporting and collaborating with CAV testing across the four recently announced CAV testbed projects overseen by Meridian, a partnership between the Center for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), the Automotive Council, and the Advanced Propulsion Center.

With its partners, OS provides the expertise and accurate location data and services to help create a resilient infrastructure that is ready for next-generation technology. OS has experience at the center of major national infrastructure research projects, such as the groundbreaking Atlas initiative, which studied and identified data critical to the efficient operation of autonomous vehicles, and the development of a Digital Twin planning tool for the roll-out of 5G cellular connectivity.

Announcing the appointment of OS, UK Business Secretary Greg Clark said, “Low carbon and self-driving vehicles are the future and the UK is determined to be one of the world-leaders in this technological revolution. Through our Industrial Strategy and the Automotive Sector Deal, the government is paving the way to ensure the UK is best placed to seize the opportunities presented by the development of our next generation of vehicles.

“With its centuries of experience in mapping and its status as a big data powerhouse, Ordnance Survey’s new project will make a valuable contribution to us achieving our bold ambitions, accelerating the development and deployment of driverless technology in the UK.”

Nigel Clifford, OS CEO, commented, “This project will provide the government with evidence-based insights to speed up the deployment of connected environments in the UK. In addition to this, the learning we gain will show the UK to be an exemplar, and the infrastructure design which comes from this activity can be scaled up and used internationally.

“We believe there is an opportunity to attract inward investment. Our primary aim though, is to ensure driverless vehicles will be connected and collaborating to ensure the safety of the public at all times.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).