With all this new technology, you’re likely to have a question or two. Hopefully, we can answer them here.
What is Midlands Future Mobility?
Midlands Future Mobility is a combination of services and infrastructure brought together to enable the early deployment, development and integration of Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) based mobility solutions.
What kind of technology will be tested?
Midlands Future Mobility will enable deployment, development and integration of a very wide range of technologies that will enable future mobility solutions. Currently the main focus is on connected and autonomous vehicles, however we also anticipate testing technology from across the entire transport system including: ADAS systems; autonomous control systems; sensors to enable smart infrastructure; digital worlds for virtual validation; communications systems including 5G.
Why is a real world enviroment needed?
The success and adoption of connected and autonomous vehicles depends on how well these vehicles integrate into real world living environments, among real world situations, alongside existing transport services and infrastructure. While controlled off-street testing is important in providing confirmation that systems are behaving as expected in a range of controlled scenarios, testing in a live environment is vital to understand user acceptance and how these systems operate amongst the complexity and unpredictability that is inherent in real world environments.
Real road testing locations are vital for understanding how business models posed by new mobility solutions will be adopted and work in a real world environment. Testing in the environment will help accelerate the adoption of new mobility in the UK and globally.
What are the main benefits of the environment?
One of the main benefits of the environment is that it can help organisations bring solutions to market faster. By deploying concepts in a living environment, and using the advanced facilities and services, organisations can understand how their technology is perceived and how it tackles real world challenges, speeding up research and development processes and demonstrating commercial viability.
It can also be used by policy makers for designing, exploring, experiencing and refining new policies and regulations in real life scenarios, or for evaluating their potential impacts before implementation.
Another benefit of the environment is greater collaboration. It provides an environment for groups of innovators to get together to better understand the impact of change, enabling organisations to plan for the future and to avoid the paralysis of decision-making that can occur when the future is uncertain.
Where in the Midlands will the environment be located?
The environment will initially have facilities located in Coventry, Solihull and Birmingham and will be linked by the roads between. Onsite facilities are located at WMG (University of Warwick) Coventry, TfWM in Birmingham and the support centre in Coventry. The road route covers over 50 miles between and around Coventry and Birmingham.
Why has the Midlands been chosen as the location for a CAV environment?
The Midlands is at the heart of the British Automotive, Manufacturing and Technology sector. Midlands Future Mobility is ideally located and within easy reach of many potential environment users. The Midlands also demonstrates a wide range of road types that have been included on the route.
What is the Government's role?
The multi-million pound programme is jointly funded by Government and the partners. The UK Government has committed to ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of this new and rapidly evolving market. Midlands Future Mobility will be working closely with Meridian Mobility, who will coordinate testing enviroments across the UK.