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Midlands prepares for CAV testbed trials


08 June 2018

Fifty miles of public road in Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry will be used to test connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) in the Midlands Future Mobility project. 

Midlands Future Mobility is one of five CAV testbed sites that make up the Meridian Mobility eco-system to develop CAV testing infrastructure. 

The Midlands Future Mobility consortium is led by the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick and also features: Amey, AVL, Costain, Coventry University, HORBIA MIRA Ltd, Wireless Infrastructure Group, and Transport for the West Midlands. It is backed by £17.6m from Government innovation agency Innovate UK and about £8m from project partners.  

A spokesman for Coventry City Council told LTT this week that no decision on the roads to be included in the testing had yet been made. 

The Government awarded £51m last October to five test sites, which are all part of the Meridian Mobility eco-system:

• Midlands Future Mobility

• MCTEE – Millbrook (Bedfordshire) and Culham (Oxfordshire) Test and Evaluation Environment

• UK Smart Mobility Living Lab – Greenwich and Stratford

• TIC-IT – based in Nuneaton and led by HORIBA MIRA in partnership with Coventry University

Meridian,  the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, and Innovate UK have just launched a £25m competition for  six projects to develop testing facilities for “highways, rural and for autonomous parking”.

Allocations are likely to be: 

• up to £4m to support one controlled test environment that represents highways and common features of road junctions

• up to £16m to support up to two continuous public test environments, including rural roads that connect to existing urban test sites

• up to £2m to support one controlled parking test facility

 • up to £3m to support up to two public parking test environments 

All test facilities must be in an area covering the West Midlands to the South East. “Preference will be given to proposals that use existing test facilities,” says the bidding guidance. 

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