‘Most advanced’ trial of self-driving vehicles underway

12.11 | 24 October 2019 | | 1 comment

The latest phase of an ongoing trial is hoping to contribute towards the development of safe, self-driving mobility services as an alternative to the urban commuter car.

Since 2018, TRL has been working alongside the specialist autonomous transport consultancy FiveAI on the StreetWise Project – gathering data in the London boroughs of Croydon and Bromley.

The next phase of the project, announced on 24 October, will involve the UK’s ‘most advanced demonstration’ of self-driving vehicles on mixed-use public roads.

Taking place until the end of November, the trials will gather insights from the research participants – all of whom have been invited to take part – on the different aspects required to deliver a viable, shared self-driving service.

The aim is to prove that self-driving services could offer people a ‘safer, greener, more convenient and increasingly affordable’ alternative to the urban commuter car.

David Hynd, chief scientist at TRL, said: “This is a significant milestone not only for the StreetWise consortium but for the entire CAV sector in the UK and beyond. 

“Automated vehicles represent the future of transport and have the potential to deliver tangible, wide-reaching benefits in relation to reduced congestion, faster and cheaper commutes, fewer collisions and cleaner air. 

“We’re very excited about entering this phase of the project to create credible and real-world insights on the willingness to use and attitudes towards a shared, automated service, which will go a long way to helping us understand how these services can meet the needs of end-users.”

StreetWise forms part of a programme managed by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV).

Grant Shapps, transport secretary, said: “The untapped potential of self-driving vehicle technology is huge — it could enhance road safety, tackle isolation, and create economic opportunities. 

“The Government’s Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy sets out how it is planning for the introduction of self-driving vehicles, and StreetWise’s successful trial will be a major step to rolling out the next phase of the UK’s transport revolution.”



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    If the blue autonomous vehicle in the photo stopped suddenly, the following too-close bus would no doubt collide with it. Whilst a human driving the car should – hopefully – slow right down to compensate, would an autonomous vehicle ‘know’ to do that in those circumstances?

    Hugh Jones
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