Jaguar Land Rover is investing in a 41 mile ‘living laboratory’ project on UK roads to develop new Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technologies. This £5.5m ‘UK-CITE’ (UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment) project will create the first test route capable of testing both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems on public roads in the UK.
Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, announced the UK Government’s support for the UK-CITE research with a £3.41 million grant from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, on 1st February 2016.
The new test corridor will be used to evaluate new CAV systems in real-world driving conditions. New roadside communications equipment will be installed along the route during the three year project, enabling testing of a fleet of up to 100 connected and highly automated cars, including five Jaguar Land Rover research vehicles.
This fleet will test a range of different communication technologies that could share information at very high speeds between cars, and between cars and roadside infrastructure, including traffic lights and overhead gantries.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The connected and autonomous vehicle features we will be testing will improve road safety, enhance the driving experience, reduce the potential for traffic jams and improve traffic flow. These technologies will also help us meet the increasing customer demand for connected services whilst on the move.”
Connected technologies are key enablers for future Intelligent Transport Systems. These would help traffic authorities monitor and manage traffic flow by capturing data from all connected vehicles and then provide the driver or autonomous car with guidance to optimise the journey. In the future, warning messages that are today flashed onto an overhead gantry above a road could be sent direct to the dashboard – and repeated if necessary. This would have the potential to replace the overhead gantry, which each cost around £1m to install.