Driverless Vehicle Pilot in UK2 min read


The British HumanDrive innovative project will create an original autonomous vehicle aiming to demonstrate a long test drive (200-mile) journey in country roads, A-roads and motorways in live traffic.

One of the key pioneering aspects of HumanDrive project will be the development of an advanced vehicle control system, designed to allow the vehicle to imitate a natural human driving style using machine learning and developing an Artificial Intelligence to improve the user comfort and experience. A range of facilities will be used to develop and test the new system, including simulation, hardware in the loop, private test rack and small sections of public roads.

HumanDrive project will be led by Nissan’s European Technical Centre and other organizations, among them Hitachi, Renault, Cranfield University, the University of Leeds, Highways England, and Transport Systems Catapult. The autonomous vehicle will be in UK roads at the end of 2019.

Atkins, one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, will lead cyber security model and framework development. Aimsun, a software company focusing on algorithms, software and operational know-how for mobility applications in strategic transport planning, traffic engineering and mobility management, has been selected to model and assess the network benefits of connected and autonomous vehicles on the UK strategic road network.

Mike Wilson, Executive Director for Safety, Engineering and Standards at Highways England said, “Highways England sees the potential benefits of greater automation of vehicles to deliver improved safety and increased mobility. We will be working closely with our HumanDrive partners on the plans for the on-road testing. We will be taking the research and development of the Nissan vehicle to map how the introduction of such an autonomous vehicle can shape the future of our roads, in terms of safety, emissions, journey times and capacity.”

“UK roads throw up some particular challenges. They are different from American roads, with roundabouts and demanding country lanes. These are really testing environments,” Mark Westwood, chief technology officer of the Transport Systems Catapult, told the BBC.

Britain’s business and energy secretary, Greg Clark, welcomed the project, saying, “Low-carbon and self-driving vehicles are the future and they are going to drive forward a global revolution in mobility.”

He noted the importance of being at the forefront of the technology, claiming it could be worth as much as 52 billion pounds (about $74 billion) to the U.K. economy by 2035. “Trailblazing projects like the HumanDrive project will play a vital role helping us deliver on that ambition,” Clark said.

Author: Konstantina Papazoglou, CyNation

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