A new multi-million-pound Smart City Mobility Centre has been announced in the UK. The facility will be established in Warwickshire and the West Midlands, and will be based at the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne campus, with driverless-capable vehicle testing on the University of Warwick’s campus in Coventry and Warwickshire.
The Centre brings together WMG’s (Warwick Manufacturing Group) research expertise and Jaguar Land Rover’s research and engineering capabilities. JLR engineers and WMG researchers will work together at Wellesbourne to design and engineer connected, driverless-capable, prototype electric modular architectures. These will be tested in real-world conditions alongside a specially designed 5G communications network on the University of Warwick’s main campus.
As the center develops, it is expected to play a significant role in transforming the future of UK transport. The new Smart City Mobility Centre will also draw on expertise in battery technology which will be developed by the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) – which will also be located in Coventry and Warwickshire.
The center will also work with the new £20m (US$25.8m) UK Mobility Data Institute being established by WMG in partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to collect, process and analyze transport data generated by the advent of new mobility technologies – such as driverless vehicles and smart charging of electrified vehicles. The project will also coincide with the WMCA development of a multi-city 5G testbed.
The vehicles developed and prototyped at the Smart City Mobility Centre will benefit from regional developments in the 5G communications network that seek to deliver driverless-capable vehicles to improve mobility, reduce traffic congestion and road traffic accidents and benefit the environment.
“This is the first time in any country that such a comprehensive system is being designed and tested,” said WMG chairman, Prof Lord Bhattacharyya.
“This will help integrate plans for transport systems for the future that have the potential to bring significant economic benefits to transform and improve the lives of a great many people who could benefit from even safer, less congested, and more environmentally sustainable transport.”