Over 300 miles of roads in the UK’s West Midlands are set to trial connected and automated vehicles under a connected and automated mobility (CAM) testbed project, which has recently added communications company Vodafone and simulation specialist Immense to its roster of participants.
Midlands Future Mobility is funded by business partners and the UK government as part of the wider Zenzic CAM Testbed UK initiative that facilitates and promotes the development of connected and self- driving cars.
The Midlands Future Mobility route offers a combination of campus (mini-city), urban, rural and highways roads on which CAM trials can be supported. The route encompasses major city centers (Coventry and Birmingham) and key interchanges (rail, HS2 and Birmingham International Airport). The wide range of route types provides businesses with opportunities to trial different technologies, from low speed ‘shared space’ vehicles through to next generation ADAS and autonomous vehicle technologies.
Vodafone will deploy 5G macro coverage, providing connectivity along approximately 80% of the route. Anne Sheehan, business director, Vodafone UK, noted, “5G will help revolutionize transport on our roads. The ultra-reliability and high bandwidth of 5G will enable new progress for connected and autonomous vehicles, and we are delighted to bring our state-of-the-art 5G network to the Midlands Future Mobility project.”
Immense, meanwhile, will bring its largescale simulations to Midlands Future Mobility, bridging the gap between operational use cases (i.e the local performance of individual vehicles) and strategic use cases (i.e. the global performance of the transportation system).
Immense notes its work has fundamental applications for regulation and permitting, and facilitates addressing questions such as: How do we ensure ‘mobility for good’? How do we manage the network of the future? How do we deploy CAM?