Autonomous vehicles to be trialled in Coventry and Warwickshire

Autonomous vehicles to be trialled in Coventry and Warwickshire

The UK’s first fully connected road test environment for autonomous vehicles is set to be built in the West Midlands.

Sajid Javid MP yesterday (1 Feb) visited HORIBA MIRA in Nuneaton to announce the £7.1m UK Connected Intelligent Transport Environment (UK CITE) project.

The UK has a rich fabric of scientists and engineers who have established the UK as pioneers in the research and development of connected and autonomous vehicles.

Yesterday's funding will help strengthen the UK as a global centre for the fast-growing intelligent mobility market, estimated to be worth £900bn per year globally by 2025. 

The project will enable automotive, infrastructure and service companies to trial connected vehicle technology, infrastructure and services in real-life conditions over the next two-and-a-half years on roads in Coventry and Warwickshire.

The pilot scheme, which will create or safeguard up to 350 jobs, involves a group of companies and organisations led by Jaguar Land Rover and Visteon.

Partners include HORIBA MIRA, Siemens, Vodafone, WMG, University of Warwick, Huawei, Coventry University and Coventry City Council and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).

Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at Jaguar Land Rover said the project enhances the UK’s position as a leading hub for connected vehicle research and development.

He said: “This project places the UK at the forefront of connected and autonomous technology and will attract further research and development to the UK as well as being used by policy makers to provide recommendations on the investment in future programmes for smart transportation networks and mobility, nationally and internationally.”

Cllr Kevin Maton, CWLEP board director and Coventry City Council cabinet member for business enterprise and employment, said: “We are delighted to be part of this project.

“Coventry has a proud tradition and a bright future when it comes to cutting-edge innovation. The partners in this project are all at the forefront of their sectors and we are in excellent company. 

“As we strive to be a top 10 city we are clear that research and development and this kind of connected technology will be critical to our success and to future opportunities for this and the next generation. 

“It's very exciting that autonomous cars will be on trial in our city as early as next year.”