Launch of a ‘Smart Mobility Living Lab’ in Greenwich last week has been hailed as an important step on the path towards vehicle automation in the UK. This real life testing environment for connected and autonomous vehicles – opened by the Transport Research Laboratory – is expected to help bring solutions to market faster by allowing them to be trialled and validated in a real setting.

Industry will be able to use the lab for research and development, concept testing and validation, launching new technology or services, and understanding how new technology is perceived in a real world environment.

TRL CEO Rob Wallis said: “The launch of the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab is an important step in the path towards vehicle automation. Many organisations are testing autonomous systems in dedicated off-street facilities, but the success of these vehicles largely depends on how they integrate into real world living environments, alongside existing transport services.

Greenwich provides an ideal setting to test the interaction and interoperability of connected and autonomous vehicles due to its diverse range of transport modes including roads, buses, metro, rail, light rail, river bus and cable car. Mr Wallis added: “By providing a welcoming and real life regulatory environment for testing, TRL can help accelerate the adoption of new technology and enable the UK to play a pivotal role in the development of this global market over the next five years.” Innovate UK head of transport Roland Meister said: “Innovate UK is delighted to see the establishment of the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab @ Greenwich.

“It’s a unique urban test bed, that’s already being used by two of our projects – GATEway and MOVE UK – to help drive productivity and growth in the UK. Initiatives like this are needed in order to meet the challenges presented by the proliferation of connected technology and its rapid evolution.”

Onsite facilities for the Smart Mobility Living Lab can be found at the Digital Greenwich Innovation Centre within the Mitre building. Offsite facilities are provided by TRL at its R&D headquarters in Berkshire.

Original source: ITS UK Review

Photo: Jason Paris / Creative Commons