Britain's newest autonomous driving research project, backed by Nissan and funded by the UK Government, has officially got under way.
With the aim of enhancing the UK’s autonomous drive capability and technically supporting the supply chain’s readiness for mass adoption, the evolvAD trial will put Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV), through their paces on a variety of urban residential and complex rural roads.
These types of roads present their own unique set of challenges for AD technology.
For example, in residential areas, drivers often face narrows roads, single lanes with parked vehicles on either side and slow driving speeds.
Rural roads can include similar conditions, but with higher driving speeds and winding roads with little to no road markings.
Delivered by a consortium of five industry partners including Nissan as technical lead, the research project is jointly funded by government and the consortium partners. The government's £100m Intelligent Mobility fund is administered by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and delivered by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK.
Over the course of the next 21 months, the evolvAD project will use the combined expertise of the five partners – Nissan, Connected Places Catapult, Humanising Autonomy, SBD Automotive and TRL – to technically support UK supply chain readiness for future mass deployment of AD technologies in the UK.
Utilising infrastructure such as CCTV in residential areas, the evolvAD CAVs will be able to receive information to improve situational awareness, creating a test study on how vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) technologies can be used to enhance the performance of CAVs.
The project will also look to develop new V2I technologies to further support the deployment of autonomous drive vehicles.
Furthermore, Nissan will trial the technology on complex rural roads and explore what transport opportunities autonomous mobility can provide to A roads and minor roads that are mostly found within rural and intercity communities.
The project is already underway in the development phase, using 100 percent electric Nissan LEAFs as the test vehicles.
The vehicles will be tested in simulation and on private test tracks before the evolvAD CAVs are put through their paces on live roads in the coming months.
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