Venturer Alliance aims to build on legacy of innovative UK driverless car project


A new collaborative partnership has been created to continue the pioneering work of the innovative £5m (US$6.6m) UK government co-funded Venturer driverless car research and development project.

Comprising the original founding members of the project, the Venturer Alliance offers proven expertise and a commitment to working with industry and government to take the next steps toward connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) implementation.

Led by Atkins, the project concluded in June this year, and now the Venturer Alliance offers potential customers a diverse portfolio of services that span numerous disciplines, including technology, human factors, social research, legal and insurance.

They include both individual and collective expertise to support the ongoing design, testing, trialling, integration and deployment of CAVs on the UK transport network, as well as exploring the potential impact of CAVs on society and infrastructure.

As well as Atkins, the Venturer Alliance is made up of: AXA UK, BAE Systems, Bristol City Council, Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Burges Salmon, Fusion Processing, South Gloucestershire Council, University of Bristol, University of the West of England, and Williams Advanced Engineering.

The breadth and depth of its expertise means that the Alliance is well placed to understand how the different elements of the CAV proposition fit together, and what is required to progress further toward the goal of deploying CAVs on UK roads.

The Alliance’s unique integrated end-to-end service offer includes:

• Trial services to enable the safe testing of CAVs;

• Access to an independent controlled urban test environment, equipped with technology to enable vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications and a fully programmable vehicle-to-everything (V2X) platform;

• Public road test support, facilitated alongside and with experience and knowledge from local highway authorities, in accordance with the Department for Transport’s Code of Practice for CAV testing;

• Access to SAE Level 3+ CAVs to facilitate complex trial services;

• Technology to support the testing and development of CAVs in digitally simulated and real-world scenarios;

• A CAV simulator to complement the urban test environment, allowing both virtual and physical testing, and behavioral response analysis;

• Intelligent sensing and situational awareness technology to enable vehicles to be partially or fully autonomous;

• A complete Autonomous Vehicle Control System;

• Advisory capabilities to support and enable the deployment of CAVs within the wider transport system;

• Insurance and legal expertise, including CAV liability and data ownership issues.

“The Venturer partners have an established pedigree and proven success working together to overcome the barriers to the adoption of connected and autonomous vehicles in the UK,” noted Nathan Marsh, chairman of the Venturer Alliance and intelligent mobility director at Atkins.

“The Alliance is the next chapter in the Venturer story. It leverages the expertise and capabilities acquired during the project’s investigations into the impact of CAVs on the user, technology and the regulatory environment, to help achieve the future deployment of CAVs on UK roads.

“The Alliance builds on the important work carried out by the Venturer project to establish the West of England as a center of excellence for the safe, user-led trialling of CAV technology.”

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About Author


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).