The mobility infrastructure and software solutions for the Midlands Future Mobility project are to be provided by Siemens, it has been announced.
Acting as Principal Contractor for Phase 1 of the programme, which covers 50 sites, Siemens will be installing the required infrastructure and software services for the first two years of operation.
The work will include supplying test on-board units, installation of equipment on new and existing infrastructures, connection to CCTV video analytics and weather sensors, provision and delivery of a communications network and commissioning and testing of all equipment following installation.
The Midlands Future Mobility programme will provide a testbed for the world’s suppliers of CAV solutions and is set to develop an environment that will play a crucial role in shaping the future transport sector and accelerating technological advancement in the Midlands, the region which is at the heart of much of the automotive innovation in the UK.
The project will see the creation of the largest on-street testbed of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) in the UK. A network of over 185 miles (300km) of roads in the West Midlands is set to be equipped with roadside units, closed circuit television, global navigation satellite system correction equipment and weather stations. The project will enable the managed interaction between CAVs and other road users across Birmingham, Coventry and Solihull, as reported by Highway News earlier this month.
The programme will enable technology to be constantly monitored in a live environment, data gathering and public interaction monitoring. As a result, the programme will make the West Midlands an even more attractive destination for companies looking to research, develop and trial CAV technology, and to facilitate the development of connected and autonomous vehicles that are SAE Level 4+ autonomous (vehicles which are, self-driving- in certain conditions).
“We are particularly pleased to have been awarded this contract, taking the original specification and enhancing it to provide an innovative, efficient and cost-effective solution,” says Wilke Reints, Managing Director of Intelligent Traffic Systems for Siemens Mobility in the UK. “With CAVs offering huge potential to improve safety, reduce congestion and help optimise traffic flow, this project is a further demonstration of the UK’s capabilities in this exciting and fast-moving sector. It allows us collectively to demonstrate how smart technology enables vehicles to be connected via high-speed, high-capacity wireless infrastructure across a whole road network, with no loss of signal.
“Building on our previous work with projects including UK Autodrive and UK CITE, projects such as MFM are a great example of how our focus on digitalisation makes mobility infrastructure and networks more intelligent and ultimately delivers an enhanced experience for road users and for people who live in our cities,” he added.