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WMG Professor takes up key editorial role at international journal

Prof Mehrdad DiantaiCongratulations to WMG Professor of Connected and Automated Mobility Systems, Mehrdad Dianati, who has been appointed as Field Chief Editor for Frontiers in Future Transportation journal.

As an esteemed expert within autonomous vehicle research, Professor Dianati was appointed to define the overall scope and reputation of the journal, and provide key support and guidance to the editorial board.

As Field Chief Editor, he will also be tasked with creating a community of future transportation researchers and ensure their work is fully represented in key publications.

Commenting on his new role, Professor Dianati said: “As the transport systems become more complex and multifaceted cyber-physical systems, multi-disciplinary and innovative approaches to dissemination of the scientific and technological innovations are crucial to transform the ways that scientists impact the society.

“Frontiers in Future Transportation focuses on providing a state-of-the-art open access platform to maximize the impacts of the cutting-edge scientific and technological innovations that will transform the future of transport and mobility systems. Our ambition is to facilitate a timely, constructively selective and high-caliber peer review process through our distinguished multi-disciplinary and international editorial board to ensure high-quality publications with a wide reach and impact.”

 Find out more about Professor Dianati’s research at WMG here.

Thu 02 Jul 2020, 09:50 | Tags: Intelligent Vehicles Mehrdad Dianati

Dr Siddartha Khastgir re-elected to the IMechE Council of Members

WMG’s Head of Verification and Validation for Intelligent Vehicles, Dr Siddartha Khastgir, has been re-elected to the IMechE Council.

The results were announced at the Institute’s AGM on Wednesday (27th May).

Siddartha KhastgirDr Khastgir said: “I am excited and honoured to be re-elected to the IMechE Council of Members. As a society, and as an Institution, we are in a critical juncture, and it is important to ensure that we re-think the future of the engineering profession. We need to be creative in our new approaches -addressing the challenges of education and manufacturing which the pandemic has highlighted.

“I have volunteered at the Institution for over 11 years now, and I am honoured to be given this opportunity, by wider IMechE membership, to be part of this journey and work with fellow Council members and IMechE Trustees.”

Fri 29 May 2020, 14:33 | Tags: Intelligent Vehicles Athena Swan

Work begins on autonomous vehicle trial route

Work has begun on the 300km Midlands Future Mobility test environment - spanning from Coventry to Birmingham, which will see autonomous CAV route planvehicles trialled on urban, rural, suburban and highway roads. The project is run by a consortium of companies including WMG, MIRA, Transport for West Midlands, Costain, Amey, Wireless Infrastructure Group, Vodafone, Coventry University and Highways England.

The autonomous vehicle industry is estimated to be worth up to £62bn to the UK economy by 2030, and hoping to lead the way to autonomous vehicles is the West Midlands, as WMG, University of Warwick begins work on autonomous vehicle testing routes.

Autonomous vehicles will be trialled along the Midlands Future Mobility route, the route has been developed by TfWM in collaboration with Coventry City Council, Birmingham City Council and Solihull Council and provides over 300km of inner city, suburban and rural roads from Coventry to Birmingham, on which to fully assess vehicle performance in a wide range of real world locations and situations.

The first types of vehicle to be trialled along the route will be “connected” vehicles. Connected vehicles can ‘talk’ to each other and warn of traffic, crashes and other hazards that other connected vehicles may have seen or be heading towards.

The vehicles on the Midlands Future Mobility route will not be driving themselves during the early stages of research, initially they will have a driver and occasionally a second person monitoring how the vehicles are working. All testing will be as safe if not safer than current vehicles on the road.

The route includes infrastructure such as smart CCTV, weather stations, communications units, and highly accurate GPS.

In the future autonomous vehicles will be trialled on the route, however these will also be closely monitored by safety operators ready to take over immediately in the event of a problem. These autonomous vehicles will appear gradually as more and more advanced “Driver Assistance” systems are tested paving the way, such as lane centring and auto-speed limiting technology.

The route itself causes no disruption to drivers or the homes along it, as it uses existing road infrastructure 95% of the time. Phase one of the route includes the University of Warwick, Coventry ring road, roads in Meriden, Solihull and central Birmingham around the Jewellery Quarter.

Later this year the route will be extended to include rural and highway roads and span up to 350km.

Project consortium member Costain and contractor Siemens Mobility have begun work on the route, which will officially open for trials later this year. Both firms, are of course, practicing social distancing in the construction of important technical features such as CCTV networks along the route.

John Fox, Project Director, Midlands Future Mobility comments: Midlands Future Mobility

“It is great to see that work has begun in making roads a more connected place, where drivers can make their journeys more safely and where goods can be delivered more efficiently.

“The West Midlands has a rich history of the automotive industry, and to see it is now progressing into Autonomous vehicles feels somewhat momentous.”

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who leads TfWM, said: “Connected and autonomous vehicle technology has the potential to radically change our lives, and I am pleased the West Midland is leading the way in this sector with research facilities and production plants already in place.

“I am determined our region will become a global leader in electric and autonomous vehicle technology, as I know we have the skills, facilities, and drive to compete with any other city or region in the world.

“Seeing our roads being used as a test bed for this new technology is both exciting and a step forward, and this vital research will help pave the way to bring key investment and jobs to the region as we look to bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis.”

John Batterbee, Technology Solutions Director, Costain Group comments:

“At Costain we’re excited about how our ambitious work together with our market leading partners in the Midlands is enabling safer, cleaner and faster journeys. Today is a key milestone in starting to deploy the advanced infrastructure technologies we’ve developed over the last couple of years that are putting the UK at the forefront of the global mobility revolution. The cameras and video analytics we’re deploying will, for example, save lives by enabling drivers to be alerted to hazards beyond the line of sight.”

Wilke Reints, Managing Director of Intelligent Traffic Systems for Siemens Mobility in the UK, comments:

“We are proud to have been contracted to undertake work on this project. 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.”

Autonomous Vehicle safety standards to be set by Warwick academic

· Dr Siddartha KhastgirAutonomous Vehicles safety will be tested by researchers at WMG, University of Warwick – thanks to a seven year UKRI Future Leader Fellowship awarded to Dr Siddartha Khastgir, worth £1.2m.

Connected autonomous vehicle technology prototypes have existed for some time, however questions around the safety of this technology from the public and industry who want to commercialise these technologies has blocked it from developing.

The future with CAV has to be more reliable, more efficient and less risky. So safety testing is essential to informing people’s opinion about this new technology.

In order to prove that CAVs are safer than human drivers, it’s been suggested they need to be driven for more than 11 billion miles. However, instead of the number of miles, it more important to focus on the experiences of the CAV in those miles to identify any smart miles which expose failures in CAV.

Dr Khastgir’s fellowship will therefore develop pioneering testing methodologies and international standards to enable robust and safe use of CAV, particularly focusing on creating both fundamental knowledge and applied research methods and tools.

WMG, University of Warwick, has created a concept of the “evaluation continuum” for CAV, which involves using various environment like digital world, simulated environment, test track testing and real-world for testing.

There are two aspects which are common to each of the evaluation continuum environments and also the focus areas of the fellowship research

1) Test Scenarios: exposing failures of the CAV

2) Safety Evidence: establishing how safe is safe enough?

As a part of this fellowship, three approaches will be explored to identify the smart miles which expose any CAV failures including:

· Using Machine Learning (ML) based methods including Bayesian Optimisation to create test cases for test scenarios

· Safety Of The Intended Functionality (SOTIF) (Innovative safety analysis of CAV) based test scenarios using Systems Theoretic Process Process Analysis (STPA)

· Translating real-world data into executable test scenarios for a simulation tool.

All these approaches will together contribute to the creation of a UK’s National CAV Test Scenario Database. Dr Khastgir has previously written about enabling British CAV deployment and the role of standards for the BSI (British Standards Institute), and hopes to build on the Fellowship research outcomes to build standards for national and international purposes.

Dr Siddartha Khastgir, from WMG, University of Warwick comments:

“The global Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) industry is estimated to be worth over £50bn by 2035, with the UK CAV industry comprising over £3billion of this, however questions around safety are always raised, by the automotive industry and the public.

“This hinders the process of commercialising CAVs, however my UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to research the safety of CAVs can help Department for Transport, the automotive industry and the public to be reassured that they are safer than human drivers.

“I am incredibly grateful for the UKRI Future Leader Fellowship, as it puts the UK and the University at the forefront for research and development into the safety of CAVs.”

Margot James, Executive Chair at WMG, University of Warwick adds:

“WMG is very proud that Dr Siddartha Khastgir has been awarded a prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship (FLF). Through Siddartha’s research we can enable the UK to become a world leader in safe CAV deployment.”

Kirsty Grainger, Director, Future Leaders Fellowship Scheme adds:

“Dr Siddartha Khastgir is taking forward a really exciting project that supports the government’s Future of Mobility grand challenge. Through the Future Leaders Fellowships we’re not only delivering cutting edge research like this, but also investing in the individuals who have the potential be leading researchers and innovators in years to come. I am delighted that Dr Khastgir is part of the programme.”

The future of cyber-security in connected and autonomous mobility analysed by WMG

The Cyber Security for Connected and Autonomous Mobility (CAM) has been investigated in a series of projects funded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and supported by Zenzic and InnovateUK (part of UKRI).

Out of seven projects, WMG, at the University of Warwick was involved in three:

1. Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Cyber Resilience: a Lab2Live Observer Based Approach

2. ResiCAV


Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Cyber Resilience: a Lab2Live Observer Based ApproachEach project was tasked with exploring innovative methods for measuring and monitoring cyber security, defining a set of requirements for a future Cyber Security facility/capability and understanding the commercial landscape for such a facility.

These 3 objectives were addressed across a number of different themes with Cyber for CAM: Monitoring, Threats to connected vehicle, networks, Threats to automated vehicles or Countermeasure and risk mitigation.

Dr Elijah Adegoke, from WMG, University of Warwick was involved in the PNT Cyber Resilience project. In collaboration with Spirent, key recommendations made to Government include that spoofing and jamming attacks on GNSS signals are capable of leading to severe loss of functionality and safety in CAVs; thus there is an urgent need to invest in independent facilities capable of seamlessly testing attacks on CAM PNT systems in both controlled laboratory and live environments.

Zenzic, the University of Warwick and Spirent now aim to work with standardisation bodies to guide the development of GNSS attack detection and GNSS resiliency assessment standards, and the responsible disclosure of information on threat actors and attack events.

Dr Adegoke commented: “To investigate jamming and spoofing in CAM PNT systems, a test facility needs to be able to quantify the resilience of a CAV against both radio frequency based and software attacks for diverse receiver operating systems and hardware architectures. Access to a drive-in anechoic chamber, such as WMG’s Communications and Sensors Lab in the Professor Lord Bhattacharyya Building, to allow the legal testing of over-the-air attacks is highly beneficial.”

The future of cyber-security in connected and autonomous mobility Professor Carsten Maple, of WMG, University of Warwick, was involved in ResiCAV and BeARCAT.

ResiCAV was led by Horiba Mira, and highlighted how connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and their associated infrastructure can develop real-time responsiveness to cybersecurity threats, and highlighted the ‘urgent need’ for a national road transport cybersecurity programme in order for the UK to safely support CAV adoption across the transport network. Professor Carsten Maple comments:

“The ResiCAV project has proven that the UK could become a world-leader in automotive cybersecurity and vehicle resilience, however this can only be done if there is a collaboration between industry and the shared use of testbeds. The project has shown that cyber resilience can only be effectively achieved by developing a new engineering methodology. We have, with partners, started the journey to formalising the methodology, and provide the tools and techniques for achieving resilience through manufacture and operation.

“I hope this next step after this project is to see funding for the development of the ‘UK Centre of Excellence for Road Transport Cybersecurity Resilience’ to thrust the UK to the forefront of automotive cybersecurity.”

Professor Maple was also involved in BeARCAT, led by Cisco the BeARCAT project highlights that with the high infrastructure set-up costs and extensive overheads in the management of a test facility for automotive cyber security, the most cost-effective course of action is for a UK CTF (Cyber Test Facility) to be collocate with the existing testbeds. He comments:

“We are pleased to have developed a Security Framework for cyber security testing in the CAV ecosystem, including coverage of security threat modelling and risk assessment. Working with our partners we have defined mechanisms for communications resilience and provide a blueprint, based on the security framework, for testing certification. We hope these contributions will be helpful to the Government as it seeks to establish a world-leading capability in developing and assessing cyber security for automotive systems.”

All three projects prove the UK could be pioneering Cyber Security in Connected and Autonomous Mobility if companies within the industry work together to share resources and testbeds, which could bring autonomous vehicles one step closer to our roads.

DOWNLOAD NOW: Cyber Resilience in CAM – Cyber Feasibility Report:




WMG named as partner in three pioneering cybersecurity projects

As a result of the Cybersecurity Feasibility Studies competition WMG has been named as a partner in three key government-funded cybersecurity projects.

The Competition was launched in August 2019 and called for the automotive industry to submit their ideas on how to create a robust cybersecurity solution to support the mainstream rollout of CAVs across the UK and ensure a solution that both addresses and informs the expectations of significant emerging cybersecurity industry standards. It has been spearheaded by government-led entities including Zenzic, Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for Transport (DfT). Some £2million will now be invested in the seven separate projects.

WMG at the University of Warwick will be part of the project consortiums for ResiCAV, BearCAT and PNT Cyber Resilience.


ResiCAV looks at how the mobility industry will detect, understand and respond to emerging cybersecurity threats in real-time.

The ResiCAV consortium will receive a grant to help CAVs develop real-time responsiveness to cybersecurity threats. The consortium will set out the requirements and specifications for Vehicle Security Operations Centres (VSOCs) that support the monitoring demands of the forthcoming ISO/SAE 21434, plus extend the application of artificial intelligence and data visualisation techniques. Finally, ResiCAV will deliver the requirements for a UK road transport Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence to support the UK’s position of meeting the global challenge of automotive cybersecurity head on.

Combining cross-sector expertise, it will be delivered by a consortium led by HORIBA MIRA, Thales and BT, with further support from WMG at the University of Warwick, the Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), Oxfordshire County Council, AESIN Techworks, plus the University of South Wales, the University of Bristol, Coventry University and the National Digital Exploitation Centre (NDEC).

Professor Cartsen MapleProfessor Carsten Maple said: "We are delighted to be the academic partner in the ResiCAV consortium. The project will make a real difference to ensuring the cyber resilience of connected and autonomous vehicles both in engineering and operation. We will bring our academic rigour to the project, helping to formalise the methodology, and developing the requirements and advancing the technology in machine learning to support monitoring of vehicles in operation."


"BeARCAT brings together a strong consortium of WMG, Telefonica, Millbrook and the lead, Cisco. The project will investigate the feasibility of a coherent, holistic approach to cybersecurity testing for connected vehicle networks. Our main contribution to this work will be the development of a Security Assessment Framework for the testing of connected vehicles, taking advantage of our vast experience and knowledge acquired over a number of recent projects in the area," explains Professor Maple.

PNT Cyber Resilience

For PNT Cyber Resilience WMG researchers, led by Dr Matthew Higgins, Professor Paul Jennings and Professor Tim Watson, will be working alongside Spirent Communications investigating positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) products and services to demonstrate and determine the feasibility of a new observer-based technique to 'attack' and test CAV PNT-related functions in both controlled and real-world scenarios.

Find more information about WMG’s Intelligent Vehicles research here.

Thu 23 Jan 2020, 12:01 | Tags: Intelligent Vehicles Partnerships Research

Developing the next generation of transport solutions

Professor Carsten Maple

The concept of widespread Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) is quickly becoming something of a reality thanks to a national and global push to develop the next generation of transport solutions. An integral part of the Government’s Road to Zero strategy, CAM is expected to become widely deployed across the UK and will be a key driver behind ambitions to eventually achieve zero accidents, zero congestion and zero emissions on the road.

Evolving into a sector that is predicted to be worth £907 billion by 2035, CAM has also conjured new societal and technological challenges that need to be considered. At WMG, University of Warwick, we’ve been tackling some of these challenges by focusing on how to improve security, privacy and safety in connected and automated vehicles from a cyber-perspective, conducting rigorous testing and exploring innovative technologies in a real-world environment.  

Overcoming public anxiety

It’s not surprising to see that earning the public’s trust and subsequently reducing anxiety around this new form of travel is somewhat of a barrier to widespread adoption. However, our work to improve the privacy and safety of connected and automated vehicles will help to demonstrate the scalability and wider benefits of this new technology. 

Our real-world testing considers how vehicles will connect with each other, as well as to the roadside infrastructure, and also how parts of this infrastructure can be intelligent in the ways that they share information with each other. Our work considers how this connectivity informs the automated activity of respective vehicles and more importantly influences how we expect vehicles to react when a data breach is attempted. For example, if a hacker manages to access the data in a vehicle or vehicular system, how do we safeguard against compromising the vehicle’s identity and history, how do we protect the locations that the vehicle has visited, or indeed how do we control what the vehicle does next in terms of its interactions with the roadside and other vehicles following a breach. 

Transferring information within the roadside infrastructure

When a vehicle is travelling down a road it may meet multiple vehicles in a short space of time. In order to check the identity of these vehicles, the key of the other vehicle needs to be verified. However, having to check this in-Cloud infrastructure creates additional communication overhead, increasing the time before the vehicle receives the necessary verification. Instead, through the use of ‘Decentralised PKI’, vehicles can verify messages much faster as the key information is distributed over Edge infrastructure that sits next to the road. Essentially, this means that the roadside infrastructure can communicate with each other and directly transfer shared information, such as traffic levels, vehicle speed and direction. This eliminates the reliance on Cloud servers, saving communication time.

Protecting a vehicle’s identity

For a vehicle to send and receive these sorts of messages from other vehicles and the roadside effectively and reliably, it is important that the messages it sends contain proof that the vehicle is who it claims to be; these messages can be transmitted between cars or the road’s infrastructure from up to 500 meters away. Our ‘Group Signatures’ solution proves a vehicle’s identity without allowing that individual vehicle to be tracked over a long time. This method only indicates that the vehicle is a member of a group, making it much harder for privacy to be compromised, revealing the history of all the locations a respective vehicle, and therefore individual, has visited.

Verifying vehicle identities

However, it is an expensive task for a vehicle to verify another’s identity. Vehicles will have limited computing resources and so will only be able to verify a specific number of identities of senders of messages per second.

Therefore, with our ‘Authentication Prioritisation’ solution, the order in which the identity of messages are verified is decided based on assigning a priority to the messages. These priorities can be defined by vehicle distance, direction of travel or positioning on the road. A higher priority means that those messages are verified first.

Embedding the foundations for effective adoption

As we continue our research into privacy and security issues associated with CAM, our end goal is to achieve the right technological balance to enable effective and quick communication between vehicles and the roadside infrastructure, whilst protecting the privacy of individual vehicles and allowing reliable and safe messages to be filtered by vehicles in order of importance. At WMG, we are making significant strides towards achieving these goals and supporting the ultimate objective of assisting with the widespread adoption of Connected and Automated Mobility on UK roads.

The future of mobility: Times are changing

The future of mobility

Times are changing

If we are to seize electrification and autonomy opportunities, it’s essential that the UK develops an environment suitable for breakthrough technologies. From domestic charging solutions to developing repeatable testing environments, the UK faces big challenges and we are addressing these through our lead centre for Vehicle Electrification and Connected and Autonomous Vehicles at WMG, University of Warwick.

Electrification shaping a low carbon future

David Greenwood – Professor, Advanced Propulsion Systems at WMG, University of Warwick

Demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is surging in the UK and registrations of plug-in cars increased by more than 160,000 between 2013 and 2018. With the electrification industry estimated to be worth over £6billion by 2025, the next decade presents a massive opportunity.

As our society continues to grow, transformation in energy and mobility is required to create sustainable environments. The electrification of transport is shaping that low carbon future. Our vision at WMG is to enable the development of cleaner, safer and smarter vehicles and help drive sustainable mobility across the UK, which aligns with the Government’s ‘Road to Zero’ strategy, aiming to make road transport emission-free by 2050. Our research focuses on establishing advanced hybrid and electrical vehicles, including commercial, rail and marine, battery technology, supply chain, manufacturing and automation.

At WMG, we’re working with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre to deliver on the UK’s Industrial Strategy ‘Future of Mobility’ Grand Challenge to transform the UK into a world leading battery manufacturer for vehicle electrification.

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Siddartha Khastgir – Head of Verification and Validation, Intelligent Vehicles at WMG, University of Warwick

The global Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) industry is estimated to be worth over £50billion by 2035, with the UK CAV industry comprising over £3billion of this. The UK Government's Industrial Strategy aims to bring fully autonomous cars without a human operator on UK roads by 2021, which will make us one of the first countries to achieve this.

The CAV vision is motivated by the potential societal benefits the technology offers – increasing safety, decreasing traffic congestion and driving lower emissions. At WMG, we’re striving to deliver these through Intelligent Vehicles research exploring Verification and Validation, Communications (i.e. 5G), Experiential Engineering, Supply Chains, Cyber Security and Cooperative Autonomy.

Our involvement in research programmes like the £35m Midlands Future Mobility focuses on “smart miles”, proving concepts and getting products to market. Led by WMG, Midlands Future Mobility is an “on-road ecosystem” comprising nine partners with a shared objective – To launch the first service offering of public road testing by mid-2020.

Times are changing.

Realising the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle dream

Connected Autonomous Vehicles - Siddartha thought leadership

Siddartha Khastgir, Head of Verification and Validation, Intelligent Vehicles at WMG, discusses Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, achieving the long-term vision, and testing.

The vision

The global Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) industry is estimated to be worth over £50billion by 2035, with the UK CAV industry comprising over £3billion of this. Additionally, the UK Government's Industrial Strategy aims to bring fully autonomous cars without a human operator on the UK roads by 2021, which will make us one of the first countries in the world to achieve this vision. The CAV vision is motivated by a variety of potential benefits the technology has to offer – increasing safety by reducing accidents and minimising human error, decreasing traffic congestion, driving lower emissions and freeing up drivers’ time in vehicles - enabling individuals to be more productive during the work commute or the school run.

However, in order to realise this vision and the market potential, safe introduction of CAV is crucial. The diverse technological, legislative and societal barriers associated with public deployment of CAV will require significant research to overcome.

A safer way to travel

It is suggested that in order to prove that CAV are safer than human drivers, they will need to be driven for more than 11 billion miles. While this requirement has garnered a lot of publicity, the focus needs to be on what happens in those miles (i.e. smart miles which expose failures in CAV) and not on the number of miles themselves. One will not gain much information about the capabilities of a CAV system if we drive them up and down the sunny roads of a desert.

While prototype CAV technologies have existed for some time now, ensuring the safety level of these technologies has remained at the forefront of development decisions and considerations, and has emerged as a potential hindrance to the commercialisation of CAV technologies.

Presenting hard evidence-based data and trends efficiently will have a significant impact on public adoption of this new technology and the confidence levels invested. Safety is at the forefront of the case for why a future with CAV is more reliable, more efficient and less risky – But just saying this is not enough, people want to see objective insights and make their own informed decisions on how this new technology is safer.

The task of proving this is coupled with the challenge of requiring innovative testing and safety analysis methods, as interactions between large numbers of variables and the environment demand complex solutions and experimentation.

Positioning the UK as a world leader

WMG at the University of Warwick, facilitates collaboration between academia and the public and private sector to drive innovation in science, technology and engineering. Intelligent Vehicles research, at WMG, is focused on supporting the UK’s position as the world leader in CAV research and innovation for a long lasting societal and economic benefit.

Intelligent Vehicles research capability areas include Verification and Validation, Communications (i.e. 5G), Experiential Engineering, Supply Chains, Cyber Security and Cooperative Autonomy. Demonstrating safety, commercial viability and customer desirability pose three of the main challenges associated with realising the CAV vision. The “evaluation continuum” concept for CAV, at WMG, involves using digital technology to simulate various environments and conduct repeatable test track testing before launching trials in the “real-world”. WMG research is leading to the creation of international standards (ISO) for the safe deployment of CAV.

Testing in a virtual world

WMG’s 3D simulator for Intelligent Vehicles, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), was launched in 2016 at WMG’s International Manufacturing Centre to test real-world robustness and usability of smart, CAV technology. The simulator creates virtual conditions for Intelligent Vehicles, replicating complex driving scenarios, changing lighting conditions, communications interference or unexpected events, all in a safe and repeatable environment.

The success of smart, CAV technologies, or Intelligent Vehicle technologies, will depend upon research and development, which can quickly demonstrate safety, security and robustness. Testing these technologies on-road in real-world driving situations is often complex, uncontrollable and potentially risky for early stage development. It is also reliant on the production of costly physical prototypes.

Industry trends in CAV suggest the widespread adoption of Machine Learning (ML) in the autonomous control systems. ML-systems by their structure are non-deterministic in nature, resulting in different behaviours and a lack of transparency around the CAV system. Therefore, it is often difficult to identify reasons for a particular failure in such ML-based systems and take the corrective measures.

Public road testing by mid-2020

WMG is involved in major research programmes like the £35m Midlands Future Mobility (real-world testbed), which focuses on “smart miles” by proving concepts and getting products to market with quick impact measures. Led by WMG, Midlands Future Mobility is an “on-road ecosystem” comprising nine partners from industry and local authorities all with a shared vision and objective - To launch the first service offering of public road testing by mid-2020.

WMG is also one of the seven centres in the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult and with “smart mobility” being one of the focus areas for the WMG HVM Catapult centre, their existing strong links and partnerships leave them well positioned to inform and respond to Government policy.

Achieving the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle vision

Past studies have indicated that only 50% of drivers tend to use Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADASs) like Lane Departure Warning. Increasing trust and acceptance of CAV technologies remains a challenge for the industrial and research community. Reaping the benefits of the CAV technologies will only happen when they are accepted by drivers and the wider public as a fundamental part of their everyday lives.

Challenges associated with realising the CAV vision are huge, but the benefits are even bigger. The only way we can achieve the CAV vision is through collaboration and knowledge exchange between various stakeholders – manufacturers, SMEs, suppliers, local councils and research organisations.

Search: WMG Intelligent Vehicles for more information.

Driving commercial opportunity: Intelligent Vehicles in the UK

Professor Paul Jennings, Intelligent Vehicles Research Lead at WMGComment from Professor Paul Jennings, Intelligent Vehicles Research Lead at WMG, talks about the commercial opportunities for intelligent vehicles in the UK.

What's your definition of 'intelligent vehicles'?

'Intelligent vehicles' is a catch-all title for our research because we work on connectivity in vehicles; we work on automation in vehicles; and we work on projects that don't involve either. For instance, intelligence in a vehicle could be a way to achieve improved comfort and convenience features or to improve energy management.

What are the main markets for intelligent vehicles? Cars? Trucks? Public transport?

We're talking all of the above. It's important to remember that the market for intelligent vehicles isn't just so that people can move around more safely, comfortably and conveniently. It's about moving goods, too. Whatever market WMG is working in, however, it has to make sure it's here to solve problems and create new opportunities for customers and for our industry partners. Our role is to help UK companies exploit the significant emerging business opportunities through collaborative research, and through provision of new skills and education programmes.

Who are the main players in the intelligent vehicles market?

It's interesting because things have moved beyond traditional automotive companies now. At WMG, we do work with traditional companies and their supply base, of course; but there are new types of designer-manufacturers on the scene too. For example, in low-speed autonomous transport there are companies such as Aurrigo — the autonomous vehicle division of RDM Group — which designs and manufactures low-speed driverless pods here in Coventry. It is also important that we work with other key sectors too, such as wireless communications, simulation and transport infrastructure. Collaboration with authorities such as Transport for West Midlands is also crucial.

What are the main commercial drivers for companies in the intelligent vehicles space?

I'd put safety at the top of the agenda because, first and foremost, everyone wants to be safe. Then there are lower emissions and better energy efficiency. I don't think we can necessarily expect intelligent vehicles to reduce congestion, but they should be able to give us much better estimates about journey times. Also, there's a chance to make different modes of transports work better together — for example improving links between road and rail.

How can UK companies best take advantage of the commercial opportunities they identify?

The Midlands Future Mobility environment we, and our consortium partners, are creating is very exciting and will give real advantages to UK companies. It's going to be a place where they can come to trial their new vehicles, technologies and services in the real world, with proper public and user-engagement. That's a great opportunity for them to learn more from trials, and have the process made easier for them. It's also good for the Midlands which will experience those new technologies and services earlier than everyone else.

How do you see commercial opportunities developing in the future?

I think the whole supply chain will change dramatically. There will be an increasing importance on software, sensors, perception systems and connected components. But I think, over time, business models will change more dramatically as transport becomes more of a mobility-focused service industry, with customers buying 'journeys' rather than 'vehicles'.

Wed 25 Sep 2019, 16:53 | Tags: Intelligent Vehicles Paul Jennings Research

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