Highways England has formally joined the Innovation Community of the Smart Mobility Living Lab – the world-leading London-based test bed to develop future automated and carbon-neutral future transport solutions.
SMLL is a multi-million pound joint initiative between industry and government aimed at accelerating the transition to a more sustainable, carbon neutral, transport system. The testbed supports the deployment of automated vehicle technologies, and new mobility concepts for the movement of people and goods.
Highways England has joined the initiative to further conversations and research into intelligent transport solutions, to ultimately help reach the government’s goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Phil Proctor Head of Research at Highways England said, “I’m excited that Highways England is joining the Smart Mobility Living Lab Community. It will support our future decision making for the strategic road network by facilitating collaborative working and unlocking knowledge that will create new opportunities and improve the future of mobility.
“I look forward to sharing expertise across this Community and accelerating the delivery of Highways England’s strategic goals and commitments.”
“The Highways England vision and mission is the bedrock for innovation on our strategic network,” added Paul Zanelli, Director of Strategic Ventures at TRL. “Our members will benefit from their long-term view – necessary to make infrastructure changes – and Highways England will benefit from the immediate disruptive ideas our disparate members bring to the table to improve the customer experience. Their collaboration will create insight to drive new strategic initiatives, accelerating the UK’s delivery of a modern transport system rich in social value.”
SMLL, a TRL company, provides a London-based real-world connected environment for testing and developing future transport and mobility solutions. It enables businesses to see a digital version of an entire connected environment, from components, cars, the roads they drive on, the infrastructure supporting them, the way a service is delivered as well as studying the environmental impact.
The test bed can demonstrate and evaluate the use, performance, safety and benefits of Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technology and Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) in a real-world city environment.
The SMLL Innovation Community brings together a range of stakeholders including network mobile operators, vehicle manufacturers and industry experts such as:
• Imperial College
Highways England says it has joined the SMLL Innovation Community to work together with this wide variety of stakeholders in order to develop greater learning and work towards achieving intelligent transport solutions and ultimately, decarbonisation.
The decarbonisation of the UK economy involves the process of de-coupling energy supply and economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Transport as a whole is the UK’s second largest emitting sector of GHG, two thirds of which are related to road transport.
(Picture shows members getting ready to experience a ride in the SMLL automated vehicle at Woolwich in London – credit Highways England)