WMG to lead new £11 million programme partnering with Highways England to evaluate connected and autonomous vehicles
WMG, at the University of Warwick, is leading a new £11 million programme to evaluate connected and autonomous vehicles which will work with a range of partners including Highways England. It further establishes Coventry, Warwickshire and the West Midlands as the heart of connected and autonomous vehicles research and development in the UK.
This addition to the Midlands Future Mobility project will enable connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, that have been developed using simulation and test tracks, to then be evaluated on roads in real-world driving situations, providing invaluable additional learning that will enable them to become a commercially viable and desirable means of road-transport.
A new multi-million-pound ‘Smart City Mobility Centre', to be established in Warwickshire and the West Midlands was announced last night (Monday 12th November 2018) at the Coventry and Warwickshire Automotive Dinner in Warwickshire’s Coombe Abbey Hotel.
WMG Chairman Professor Lord Bhattacharyya announced that Europe’s first multi-million-pound Smart City Mobility Centre will be based at the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne campus, with driverless capable vehicle testing on the University of Warwick’s campus in Coventry and Warwickshire.
The Centre brings together WMG’s research expertise and Jaguar Land Rover’s leading research and engineering capabilities.
New £2.7m research programme will use Artificial Intelligence powered pedestrians and other road users to test autonomous vehicles
WMG at the University of Warwick have just begun work with a consortium of 11 organisations led by Latent Logic in Oxford on a £2.7 million UK government funded project to create a highly accurate virtual reality simulator environment, including artificial intelligence (AI) trained models of pedestrians and road users, to test connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
OmniCAV, which was awarded funding as part of a competition run by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Innovate UK, will be fed by highly detailed scans of real roads, traffic camera data, accident data and near-miss analyses. These inputs will be used to create a high-fidelity model of real-world roads, which will be populated with realistic artificial intelligence (AI) based road users. This model will used to create an extensive open-access library of VR simulator scenarios to test connected and autonomous vehicles.
OmniCAV will lay the foundations for the development of a comprehensive, robust and secure simulator, aimed at providing a certification tool for CAVs that can be used by regulatory and accreditation bodies, insurers and manufacturers to accelerate the safe development of CAVs.”
A new method of testing alloys - Rapid Alloy Prototyping, is 100 times faster than current methods, allowing new products to reach the market more quickly, thanks to £7 million of funding announced today for a new “virtual factory” designed by the Prosperity Partnership, including WMG at the University of Warwick.
This Prosperity Partnership – led by Swansea University and involving WMG at the University of Warwick, will implement a Rapid Alloy Prototyping (RAP) process, thanks to £7 million of funding announced today from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Rapid Alloy Prototyping effectively means that much of the testing can be carried out in research labs and imaging suites - a virtual factory – rather than in an actual steel plant.
The research will develop world-leading cost effective, scalable carbon fibre composite solutions, with the view to boosting the performance of electric vehicles. The CO2 benefit of the project between 2023-2032, will be 4.5 million tonnes.
WMG will receive £4m, of the £18.7m government funding through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), to drive the development of innovative lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures, building on the UK’s leading-edge capability in this area.
Project Tucana will allow the true environmental credentials of electric vehicles to be realised by enabling wider adoption. Tucana will deliver this step-change by addressing structural performance at a design, material and volume manufacturing-level which is currently unmet across the industry.
WMG, at the University of Warwick, have been awarded £10 million to build a new Degree Apprenticeship Centre for the high value manufacturing sector.
The WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre will focus on courses essential to the effective development of advanced engineering and manufacturing companies.
The Centre, which is due to open in 2019, has received £10 million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).
The Centre will provide training programmes up to Level 7 (Master’s Degree level) with an initial capacity for 1,000 students on roll at any one time. The apprentices, who will be employed by companies, will undertake their academic studies at the WMG Degree Apprenticeship Centre, which will be on the University of Warwick campus.
Formula 1 driving simulation technology could help put the UK on the fast track to self-driving vehicles
A new research programme by WMG at the University of Warwick, and XPI Simulation, co-funded by Innovate UK, is examining the potential for applying the simulation technology used to train Formula 1® drivers for the testing and certification of autonomous vehicles. The market for such vehicles is expected to reach £52 billion by 2035, according to government figures.
The new research could dramatically reduce the time to market, helping manufacturers to achieve the UK government’s vision for self-driving vehicles to be operating on our roads as early as 2021.
Several manufacturers are already testing their vehicles on public roads, with mixed results. One of the problems is the volume and repeatability of testing. Carrying out such testing on controlled tracks or on-road presents significant cost and safety challenges – as well as requiring huge amounts of mileage to be driven to gather evidence.
Transport Minister visits WMG to launch Call for Evidence on the Future of Mobility and announce 6 research projects on autonomous vehicles
Jesse Norman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, visited WMG today (Monday 30th July 2018) to launch the Government’s “Call for Evidence on the Future of Mobility”. He announced six Innovate UK funded autonomous vehicle research projects, saying:
“We are beginning to experience profound change in how we move people, goods and services around the UK’s cities, towns and countryside. The Future of Mobility Grand Challenge – part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy - aims to capitalise on the opportunities presented by these changes to help reduce emissions, improve safety and wellbeing and place the UK at the forefront of global transport innovation. The Call for Evidence will help inform this programme, and seeks views from a range of audiences right across the country.”
Two of the six research projects he announced involve WMG, at the University of Warwick, with a total of £4.1m in research funding from Innovate UK
The delegation led by Mr Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons were given a tour of the National Automotive Innovation Centre (NAIC). The Centre, which is a long-term commitment between Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, WMG and the University of Warwick, is a unique resource and the first of its kind in Europe, providing an environment to foster collaboration, cohesion and sharing knowledge, combining automotive expertise nationally and internationally.
The visitors were also shown our state-of-the-art 3xD Simulator for Intelligent Vehicles where experts explained more about Midlands Future Mobility, a £25m project led by WMG which will see roads in Coventry and Birmingham become the UK testbed for developing the next generation connected and autonomous vehicles.
Finally, Mr Chandrasekaran and his colleagues were given a tour of our Energy Innovation Centre, which is going through significant expansion, and will see WMG to continue to provide a unique facility for industry and academia to develop innovative energy storage technology.
Mr Chandrasekaran and his colleagues was very interested to see for themselves some of the WMG projects and commented on the quality of research and innovative approach to R&D.
On 11 July, our Dr Antony Allen and students from Richard Crosse Primary School in Staffordshire went to Rockingham Speedway to compete in the Greenpower Formula Goblin event. We first met the children from class five back in January when they won a competition ran by the Advanced Propulsion Centre to become one of eight schools presented with a Greenpower Goblin kit car. Each winning school was then partnered with an APC Spoke, in this case WMG as the Energy Spoke, who provide financial support and mentoring throughout the electric vehicle build along with driver training ahead of race day.
On race day the team competed in six Slaloms, six Sprints and one Grandprix event. They picked up a fantastic four awards: IET Formula Goblin Participation Award; Rockingham Goblins 2018 Slalom: 3rd place; Rockingham Goblins 2018 Best Presented Team; and Rockingham Goblins 2018 Spirit of Greenpower Award.
The Spirit of Greenpower was awarded in recognition of the way the school have embraced the Greenpower project this year, involving the whole school in the car bodywork design, entering individual and group portfolios of their work, their weekly video-diaries on YouTube, their twitter account, and articles in the village magazine and local district newspaper.
Maria Farrington, a parent of one of the students said ‘I just wish to express my thanks to Dr Allen and the School, for supporting the Rockingham Raceway Project. It was a pleasure to accompany the children today and feel that they also should be congratulated on their behaviour away from school. It was a thoroughly enjoyable outing and an experience the children will remember for a long while’.
Check out the video on their YouTube channel.