Work on developing driverless smart vehicles that can ‘see’ at blind junctions has been awarded £4.7 million.
The Centre for Autonomous Vehicles has given the money to the AutopleX consortium led by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and of which Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is a member.
AutopleX will combine connected, automated and live mapping technology so more information is provided earlier to the self-driving car.
It means automated cars can communicate with all road users and obstacles where there is no direct view, allowing them to safely merge lanes and negotiate complex roundabouts autonomously.
AutopleX will develop fully and semi-automated vehicle technologies through simulation and public road testing on motorways and in urban environments in the West Midlands.
Mike Waters, Director of Policy, Strategy & Innovation at TfWM said: “The AutopleX project is a great opportunity to align benefits from the development of AV technology with some of today’s highway management challenges.
“AutopleX builds on the Midlands Future Mobility CAV testbed environment and is another building block in our world class eco-system which makes the West Midlands the ideal place for CAV research and development.”
Chris Holmes, Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Research Manager at JLR said: “This project is crucial in order to bring self-driving cars to our customers in the near future.
“Together with our AutopleX partners, we will merge our connected and autonomous vehicles to operate safely in the most challenging, real-world traffic situations.
“This project will ensure we deliver the most sophisticated and capable automated driving technology.”
The AutopleX consortium was launched in March to support the introduction of self-driving vehicles into the UK.
It is led by JLR and also includes TfWM, INRIX, Highways England, Ricardo, Siemens and WMG at the University of Warwick.