Following an extensive programme of laboratory and test-track testing, UK CITE, the project to create an advanced environment for connected and autonomous driving has now entered its second phase of trials which sees connected cars being tested on public roads.
The trials are being undertaken over 40 miles of the M40, M42, A45 and A46 over a five month period, with Siemens ITS having supplied and installed its ESCoS roadside units (RSUs), which provide the technical platform for real-time data exchange between vehicles and traffic control equipment. The RSUs communicate with enabled vehicles over short-range communications (ITS-G5).
By connecting cars to each other and their environment, they are able to communicate with other road users and network infrastructure, providing a higher degree of predictability and safety for both manual and autonomous driving. This phase of the trial programme will include testing of a number of connected features, including emergency electronic brake light warning (EEBL), road works warning (RWW), emergency vehicle warning (EVW), traffic condition warning (TCW) and virtual gantry signs.
ITS (UK) member Siemens’ Stratos hosted traffic management system has been installed as the back office for all communications to and from the vehicles.
Siemens has installed 35 RSUs across the M42 and M40 trial area, connected through Highways England’s National Road Telecommunications Services (NRTS) network, as well as 18 RSUs on the arterial routes – connected through a wireless mesh network.
The on-road trial covers the installation and verification of the roadside infrastructure in readiness for wider scale infrastructure to vehicle (I2V) communication and will help to inform road operators of the potential benefits of both the ITS-G5 and LTE 4G mobile network vehicle communications methods.
Gary Bray, Senior Product Manager at Siemens ITS, said, “This phase of testing is very exciting and vitally important, with the project effectively making the transition from a controlled environment to the real world as we test the capabilities of the connected network on the live highway. This deployment is the largest of its kind in the UK and should provide a good benchmark for the future of the technology.”
The UK CITE programme will create the UK’s first fully connected infrastructure, using a globally unique combination of wireless technologies, which can enable real-world testing in a safe and managed way. The project is funded by the Government’s £100 million Connected and Autonomous Vehicle fund, delivered by Innovate UK. The project is worth a total of £7.1 million including investment from the Government and Highways England.
The UK CITE consortium comprises leading industry, academic and local and national governmental organisations. It is jointly led by Visteon Engineering Services Limited and Jaguar Land Rover and includes Coventry City Council, Coventry University, Highways England Company Ltd, HORIBA MIRA, Huawei Technologies (UK) Ltd, Siemens, TfWM, Vodafone Group Services Ltd, and WMG at University of Warwick.