Autonomous Ford Mondeos deploy in Birmingham for government-backed project Car News

A government-backed project to accelerate the development of autonomous utility vehicles will begin public testing in Birmingham this week.

The test will be the second of three such tests conducted by Project Endeavor and follows the success of the first test at Oxford, in which six self-driving Ford Mondeos (Level 4) drove a nine-mile round-trip route last October. .

Only four autonomous Mondeo will be introduced in Birmingham. As in Oxford, the cars will be fitted with lidar, radar and stereo cameras and range software provided by autonomous vehicle company Oxbotica.

However, the route is slightly shorter, covering an area of ​​eight kilometers around Birmingham’s Lea Hall station, between Birmingham International Airport and the city center.

The Mondeos will make the journey several times a day for the next six months. They will drive all hours of the day and night to experience a range of traffic – “from morning trips to school runs, in various weather conditions,” a spokesperson for the initiative said.

Although the cars are fully autonomous, a professionally trained safety driver will be in the driver’s seat at all times during the test, able to regain control if necessary.

The final of the three Project Endeavor trials will take place in Greenwich, London in August, where two routes are planned.

The trials are intended to “demonstrate autonomous driving in a variety of urban and urban environments and will develop models of engagement with local authorities and communities to help them prepare for the future launch of autonomous vehicle services,” according to Project Endeavor.

Launched in September 2019, Project Endeavor is a consortium between stand-alone software company Oxbotica, urban technology company DG Cities and transport simulation company Immense, along with recently added partners, the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), the British Standards Institution (BSI) and Birmingham. Municipal Council.

Oxbotica Senior Vice President and Director of Project Endeavor, Dr. Graeme Smith, said: “Project Endeavor is a unique research project that allows us to learn more about the challenges of vehicle deployment. Autonomous in several UK cities – a key part of being able to deploy services safely and at scale.

“This step of the mobility project is a new step for us, as Birmingham is welcoming our fleet of autonomous vehicles for the first time in real environments, and there has been tremendous enthusiasm from the local authority in the second. largest country in UK. city ​​before deployment.

Project Endeavor is partly founded by the Center for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Innovate UK. It is part of the government’s £ 100million smart mobility fund.


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This notice was published: 2021-06-09 23:01:24

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