UK launches Meridian intelligent mobility accelerator to develop CAV technologies


Meridian, the Intelligent Mobility Accelerator – a subsidiary of the Advanced Propulsion Center (APC) and supported by the UK government’s Center for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and the Automotive Council – has been officially launched to support further innovation in the development of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) in the UK.

Meridian will establish a Technology Cluster in the UK to boost the testing, development and adoption of CAVs through cross-sector collaboration, bringing together established UK-leading organizations from different industries to provide technical and financial support.

Making use of the UK’s existing testing facilities, including proving grounds, the connected public corridor and complementing previous initiatives, Meridian will create one of the world’s most effective CAV testing communities aimed at attracting foreign direct investment and increasing export for the country.

Meridian will bring together established UK-leading startups, OEMs and SMEs from a number of industries to encourage cross-sector collaboration, including, artificial intelligence (AI), insurance, legal, telecommunications, gaming, mobility and the financial services sectors, to pitch their CAV innovations and visions in exchange for technical and financial support.

By bringing together these different industries, Meridian will create one of the world’s most efficient CAV communities that will aim to bridge any gaps in supply chain and elevate the UK’s strengths in CAV testing and development. In addition to strengthening existing capabilities and creating new ones, Meridian will create its own Spoke Network, a community of the UK’s leading academic institutions, set up to share best practice between academia and industry.

“In order for CAVs to be fully adopted they need to function seamlessly on all roads. Meridian will focus on integrating and connecting these vehicles with complex environments in the UK and around the world. For this to happen we need all industries, and government, to work together on the same technologies and the same standards. For this to happen collaboration is key,” said Jim Campbell, launch director of Meridian.

“Meridian will give the UK the power to innovate CAV technology faster and more decisively than ever before, creating a testbed of facilities throughout the UK. This UK-wide operation will enable the UK to become globally competitive in CAV technology and open up new opportunities in the supply chain. The Spokes will be established within the agreed geographic boundaries across the UK. They will boost innovation, job creation and productivity through cross-sector collaboration, ensuring easy access to the CAV supply chain for SMEs and start-ups from a range of industries.”

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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).