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.
Midlands Future Mobility will use over 50 miles of Coventry and Birmingham roads to establish the Midlands as a world class UK centre for the development, and evaluation of, connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) and related technologies and services.
Midlands Future Mobility will be at the heart of the UK’s transport network, making a significant contribution to the UK’s national transport strategy, and will play a crucial role in shaping the transport sector. It will firmly establish the UK’s presence in the connected and autonomous vehicle market, and contribute to the UK’s Industrial Strategy.
The specially selected networked roads cover a range of representative areas and will be the largest, most diverse testing environment in the UK, with the deployment of new roadside infrastructure including smart vehicle monitoring, data analytics and 5G ready wireless infrastructure. By using real-world environments Midlands Future Mobility will enable a variety of industries to test new vehicle technologies and services, with the aim of improving integration.
The Conference programme is split into two streams, one tackling intelligence, software and machine learning, and the other infrastructure, advanced materials and robotics. The event brings together engineers, data analysts, IT and technology specialists, and senior management professionals, from across a variety of sectors, to discuss and debate technologies of the future.
Roads in Coventry and Birmingham are set to become a world-class UK testbed for developing the next generation connected and autonomous (CAV) vehicles, thanks to a new £25m programme of investment being led by WMG at the University of Warwick.
The pioneering venture, undertaken by a consortium of research and industry partners, will make UK roads ready for CAVs by developing wireless networks, analysing how vehicles behave in real urban environments and involving the public in their evaluations.
The UK Central CAV Testbed will be based on 80 kilometres of urban roads in Coventry and Birmingham, creating a world-leading connected infrastructure and eco-system, and positioning the Midlands as a centre for cutting-edge automotive and communication technologies.
The Festival, which runs from 2-6 October, takes place at the Morgan Motor Company, and will explore topics including how research and development is leading to new technologies to improve lives, and the new insights that are leading the way.
Professor Jennings’s talk will form part of the Automotive Advances programme, and will focus on self-parking and autonomous driving capabilities, and the next significant advances including how our roads might look in the future.
For more information on the Festival and the full Automotive Advances line-up visit: https://www.festival-innovation.com/
The automotive awards held in Brussels, recognise the greatest design, technical and marketing innovations within the automotive imaging sector.
Professor Jennings and his team were recognised as ‘Highly Commended’ in the Greatest Exploration category, for their inventive 3xD driving simulator, a key facility for our researchers working on Autonomous, Smart and Connected Vehicles.
He is undoubtedly one of WMG’s most experienced doctoral supervisors, noted for his academic rigour, quiet efficiency and capacity for hard work, as well as his loyalty to colleagues and dedicated supervision of his students. It comes as no surprise that Paul’s approach has won the highest respect and admiration from colleagues, students, and industrial collaborators.
Dr Higgins has spent the last seven years, working in association with some of the UK’s leading defence and telecommunications companies.
He progressed through a number of roles including Research Assistant, Research Fellow, and Senior Teaching Fellow, before being promoted in 2012 to the position of Assistant Professor. His research focused primarily on Optical, Nano, and Molecular Communications. Whilst in this position, Dr Higgins set up the Vehicular Communications Research Laboratory, which aimed to enhance the use of communications systems within the vehicular space.
WMG tests driverless pods with laser scan of Coventry roads as part of Intelligent Transport Initiative
WMG at the University of Warwick is to use a laser scan of 30 miles of Coventry roads to test driverless pods as part of a research programme launched this week.
WMG will work with RDM Group - the UK’s only designer and manufacturer of driverless Pods - in a project called INnovative Testing of Autonomous Control Techniques (INTACT).
The project, funded by Innovate UK, will enable Coventry based automotive innovation experts RDM to test its vehicles on one of the world’s most adaptable and advanced driving simulators at WMG.
Professor of Experiential Engineering, Paul Jennings comments on US plans $4bn for self-driving rules.
Self-driving, or autonomous, vehicle technology is developing at a rapid rate. Many of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers are already unveiling self-driving car solutions and are being joined in the race by new players such as Google, Tesla and UK initiatives such as those by RDM Automotive LTD.
The need for a consistent set of regulations and international testing standards, as identified by the $4bn US DoT initiative for common rules, is critical in bringing self-driving cars to our roads. We know for example that current rules require the use of trained drivers for testing, but we have to consider how to engage end-users early on in the testing of self-driving vehicles. I believe these factors are key to increasing public acceptance and trust in autonomous driving technologies.