A consortium led by TRL, the global centre for innovation in transport and mobility, has been awarded £13.4 million of the Government’s £51m connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) test bed funding to create a world-leading, real-world test environment in London for the development of future mobility solutions.
The initial round of funding is part of the £100m UK CAV test bed competitive fund and is the first investment by Government and industry through Meridian to develop a coordinated national platform of CAV testing infrastructure.
The consortium comprises expertise from across the transport and technology sectors, including TRL, DG Cities, Cisco, Costain, Cubic, Loughborough University, Transport for London and the London Legacy Development Corporation.
Delivery partners include Millbrook Proving Ground and the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre.
The project will see the creation of a smart mobility living Lab (SMLL) in London, based in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
This will provide a real-world urban test bed in a complex public environment, capable of demonstrating and evaluating the use, performance and benefits of CAV technology and mobility services in an accessible and globally recognisable context.
The living lab will be designed to operate as an open innovation environment where innovators in the automotive sector, transport service and technology providers, SMEs, local and central government and research bodies, can come together to exchange ideas and develop technical and business solutions for the future development of smart mobility solutions.
Paul Zanelli, director, engineering and technology at TRL, said: "Users of the SMLL will be able to collaboratively or independently test their ideas, technology and services in a real-world environment.
"This exciting project will see us working closely with industry to develop the evidence case for bringing new products and services to market, and with local and national governments to address the challenges and opportunities of future mobility.
"This will ensure we gain the benefits and minimise the pain of change.
“At the heart of the Living Lab will be continuous engagement with the public, to help facilitate a greater understanding of the implications of autonomous technology and enable them to have their say during this huge transition in urban mobility.”