Siemens Mobility to supply connected infrastructure for UK’s Midlands Future Mobility project

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Siemens Mobility has been awarded a contract by Transport for West Midlands, UK, to provide connected mobility infrastructure and software services for the Midlands Future Mobility (MFM) project.

The MFM programme will provide a testbed for the world’s suppliers of CAV solutions and is set to develop an environment that will play a crucial role in shaping the future transport sector and accelerating technological advancement in the Midlands, the region which is at the heart of much of the automotive innovation in the UK.

The project will see the creation of the largest on-street testbed of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) in the UK. A network of over 185 miles (300km) of roads in the West Midlands is set to be equipped with roadside units, closed circuit television, global navigation satellite system correction equipment and weather stations. The project will enable the managed interaction between CAVs and other road users across Birmingham, Coventry and Solihull.

MFM will enable technology to be constantly monitored in a live environment, data gathering and public interaction monitoring. As a result, the programme will make the West Midlands an even more attractive destination for companies looking to research, develop and trial CAV technology, and to facilitate the development of connected and autonomous vehicles that are SAE Level 4+ autonomous (vehicles which are ‘self-driving’ in certain conditions).

Acting as Principal Contractor for Phase 1 of the MFM programme, which covers the first 50 sites, Siemens Mobility will be installing the required infrastructure and software services for the first two years of operation. The company’s work will include:

• The provision of test on-board units
• Installation of equipment on new and existing infrastructures
• Connection to CCTV video analytics and weather sensors
• Provision and delivery of a communications network
• Commissioning and testing of all equipment following installation

With a diverse range of roads, junctions and traffic controls, the MFM project is the largest connected mobility scheme in the UK, providing a resource for suppliers worldwide to trial CAV solutions, including vehicles, systems and infrastructure.

“We are particularly pleased to have been awarded this contract, taking the original specification and enhancing it to provide an innovative, efficient and cost-effective solution,” says Wilke Reints, MD of Intelligent Traffic Systems for Siemens Mobility in the UK. “With CAVs offering huge potential to improve safety, reduce congestion and help optimise traffic flow, this project is a further demonstration of the UK’s capabilities in this exciting and fast-moving sector. It allows us collectively to demonstrate how smart technology enables vehicles to be connected via high-speed, high-capacity wireless infrastructure across a whole road network, with no loss of signal.

“Building on our previous work with projects including UK Autodrive and UK CITE, projects such as MFM are a great example of how our focus on digitalisation makes mobility infrastructure and networks more intelligent and ultimately delivers an enhanced experience for road users and for people who live in our cities.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early 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).

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