PIONEERING tests on driverless vehicles have taken place in South Gloucestershire.
The demonstration by the VENTURER consortium involved wireless communication between a bus and car which tested ‘look ahead’ functionality.
This was the UK’s first on-road demonstration of a driverless car interacting with a bus taking place on Long Mead in South Gloucestershire, a 30mph bus only road that follows the south west perimeter of UWE’s Frenchay campus.
The demonstration involved the VENTURER Wildcat (a BAE vehicle equipped with connected and autonomous technology), a single decker bus provided by First Bus and another unmodified vehicle.
The aim was to test ‘look ahead’ functionality, where the autonomous system, including sensors, a wireless communications system) and the vehicle’s decision making system, enabled the Wildcat to be notified that the road ahead was clear so the vehicle could then safely navigate around a stopped bus despite having obstructed vision.
The view from the Wildcat
Another scenario was undertaken when there was no oncoming vehicle and the Wildcat was able to make an immediate ‘go’ decision to continue around the bus without the need to stop.
South Gloucestershire Council leader Cllr Toby Savage said: “As a local authority, we are proud to be one of the country’s leading centres for innovation and at the forefront of connected and autonomous vehicle research and development.
“As a place where industry and research institutes are already choosing to innovate, we are open to providing the infrastructure, platforms and resource at our disposal to support innovation.
“Our involvement in projects such as VENTURER brings us invaluable learning at no cost to the local council tax payer, and should help us be better prepared for the future and maximise on any associated cost savings.
“This experience also puts us in a position to advise other local authorities and organisations.”
VENTURER project manager, Carolyn Mitchell of Atkins said: “We believe that this aspect of trial three demonstrates great project progression and puts the West of England at the forefront of CAV testing in the UK.
“To our knowledge no other UK CAV projects have yet tested autonomous technology interactions between a CAV and a bus.
“The bus demonstration represented a step change in technical, safety and management challenges due to its location on an open road and the resulting potential for interactions with members of the public and their vehicles.
“The success of the demonstration shows the successful collaboration between VENTURER partners to deliver safe and innovative real-world tests of a range of connected and autonomous technologies.”
The bus demonstration has shown an example of how connected and autonomous technologies can be used on different types of vehicles to complement and support the safe performance of CAVs as part of the wider transport network.
Source : http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/16245538.Pioneering_driverless_car_test_completed_in_South_Gloucestershire/