Connected car testing goes live in Coventry as part of UK CITE Consortium

A project to create one of the world’s most advanced environments for connected and autonomous driving has entered its second phase of testing, with connected cars going on trial on public roads to prepare the UK’s road networks for self-driving cars.

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The second phase of the UK CITE consortium will see Jaguar Land Rover trial a range of intelligent connected features such as emergency electronic brake light warning (EEBL), emergency vehicle warning (EVW), and in-vehicle signage (IVS) for road works warning (RWW) and traffic condition warning (TCW).

The UK CITE project will create the UK’s first fully connected infrastructure, using a globally unique combination of wireless technologies, which can enable real-world testing in a safe and managed way. The project is funded by the Government’s £100m Connected and Autonomous Vehicle fund, delivered by Innovate UK. The project is worth a total of £7.1m including investment from the Government and Highways England.

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Work by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and Coventry City Council enabled the installation of critical infrastructure on urban roads in advance of the installation of 35 of Siemens’ ESCoS road side units on the M40 and M42 motorways.

These units provide the technical platform for real-time data exchange between vehicles and traffic control equipment. Vodafone Group supported this phase of activity with the provision of 30 smartphones and network connectivity for infrastructure to vehicle communications.

In addition to on-road testing, simulation plays a key role in taking the project into its next phase. HORIBA MIRA is developing a simulation system to model connected vehicles tested via the UK CITE corridor and Coventry University will be using the data from the live vehicle trials and scaling it into a larger virtual environment using simulation modelling.

The UK CITE consortium comprises leading industry, academic and local and national governmental organisations. It is jointly led by Visteon Engineering Services Limited and Jaguar Land Rover and includes Coventry City Council, Coventry University, Highways England Company Ltd, HORIBA MIRA, Huawei Technologies (UK) Ltd, Siemens, TfWM, Vodafone Group Services Ltd, and WMG at University of Warwick.

Claire Lewis, Senior Business Development Manager at lead consortium partner, Visteon Engineering Services Ltd. – responsible for overall technical architecture of the project, including multipath embedded software, and a smartphone application, said:

“This next phase of testing is critical in testing the capabilities and providing valuable metrics of the connected network we’re developing. The strides we’re making as part of the UK CITE project are creating vital technologies to enable a safer and more efficient road network.”“We have a long-established reputation as the leading partner of choice for vehicle-driven attributes engineering. Complementing our deep engineering expertise in this field, this new investment further strengthens our position and enables us to increasingly lead the way in engineering solutions for the rapidly changing needs of future mobility.

Colin Lee, Jaguar Land Rover V2X Manager said,

“To realise the full benefit of self-driving cars, we need to understand theinfrastructure that’s needed to support them. Connectivity not only takes us a step closer to making this a reality but it also creates the platform to bring a great array of connected safety features to our customers in the near future. We’re working with some fantastic global experts across industry and academia and we’re eager to take the project into this next phase of testing.”