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

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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.

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 unique combination of wireless technologies, which can enable real-world testing in a safe and managed way. The project is being funded by the government’s £100m (US$132) Connected and Autonomous Vehicle fund, delivered by Innovate UK. It is worth a total of £7.1m (US$9.3m) including investment from the government and Highways England.

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 will play 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. Coventry University will be using the data from the live vehicle trials and scaling it into a larger virtual environment using simulation modeling.

Claire Lewis, senior business development manager at lead consortium partner, Visteon Engineering Services, responsible for overall technical architecture of the project, including multipath embedded software, and a smartphone application, said, “This next phase 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 roads network.”

Colin Lee, Jaguar Land Rover V2X manager, commented, “To realize the full benefit of self-driving cars, we have to understand the infrastructure 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.”

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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