The UK’s newest autonomous mobility service research project, ServCity has begun its testing phase on the streets of London, in a bid to help cities solve how they can harness the latest autonomous vehicle technologies and successfully incorporate them into a complex urban environment.
ServCity is jointly funded by government and industry, the government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility fund is administered by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and delivered by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
Over three years, six partners – Nissan, the Connected Places Catapult, TRL, Hitachi Europe, the University of Nottingham and SBD Automotive – will work together to develop a blueprint that directly tackles the barriers to
deploying autonomous vehicles in the UK’s cities.
After months of development, simulation and testing on private test tracks the ServCity project has now reached the stage where the ServCity Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) is being tested on the streets of London at the Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) based in Greenwich.
Built upon a 100% electric Nissan LEAF, the ServCity CAV from October 21, will be put through its paces and tested in the heart of the capital in a complex urban environment. ServCity will be leveraging the full capabilities of the SMLL by using the roadside sensors and processing power to create a cooperative infrastructure environment, which will add to the CAVs own situational awareness.
Through a combination of test simulation, end-user experience research and real-world trials, ServCity says it will inform how cities can exploit the potential of future mobility solutions and accelerate their deployment. Concentrating on the three key areas of technology, people and scalability, ServCity aims to ensure the user experience is as intuitive, inclusive and “engaging” as possible.
This project, backed by Government funding, is aimed to not only help make autonomous vehicles more user-friendly, but also give users confidence that they can respond quickly and safely and to all types of challenges they face on the roads.
Edward Mayo (Programme Manager) from the Connected Places Catapult said: “The Connected Places Catapult supports organisations in harnessing emerging technologies and developing new services. ServCity is a perfect example of how we can use this approach to deploy autonomous vehicles on a wide scale to achieve the aim of Intelligent Mobility and improve the movement of both people and goods. The commencement of testing in London represents an important milestone to the ServCity project.”
Lucien Linders (General Manager of SMLL) adds: “As world leaders in creating the future of transport, TRL is committed to developing safe systems that are accessible to everyone. TRL’s Smart Mobility Living Lab is a real world urban testbed whose roadside sensor infrastructure and facilities support the development process for CAVs to acquire better shared situational awareness. As the flagship urban test facility of CAM Testbed UK in London, we are uniquely placed to test and trial future mobility services in preparation for their commercial deployment. We continue to be very proud of offering our expertise to this ground-breaking ServCity project and working together with the other project partners”.