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UK Autodrive was the largest of three separate consortia that are currently trialling automated vehicle technology as part of a government-backed competition to support the introduction of self-driving vehicles into the UK.

The project ran for three years (until October 2018) with several major milestones along the way, including the start of the vehicle trials – the first of which took place at the HORIBA MIRA Proving Ground in October 2016, the final in October 2018 on the streets of Milton Keynes and Coventry featuring the world’s first multi-CAV, end-to-end journey – connected car, to driverless car, to autonomous pod. In the last year of the programme, autonomous and connected cars and pods became a regular sight in Milton Keynes and Coventry.

The trials will:

1

Integrate autonomous and connected vehicles into real-world urban environments.

2

Show how autonomous and connected vehicles could solve everyday challenges such as congestion.

3

Demonstrate the commercial operation of electric-powered self-driving “pods” at a city scale.

4

Provide insight for key stakeholders and decision-makers, including legislators, insurers and investors.

Our vehicles

Connected road-based passenger cars

UK Autodrive’s connected car trials examined the potential benefits (in terms of safety, traffic flow and the environment) of having cars that can “talk to each other”.

Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre all provided vehicles for these collaborative trials, which took place initially on the HORIBA-MIRA test track in Nuneaton before moving on to closed city streets in Coventry and Milton Keynes and then on to open roads.

Autonomous road-based passenger cars

Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre also used the UK Autodrive programme to trial autonomous (self-driving) cars.

As with the connected car trials, the autonomous trials began on the HORIBA-MIRA test track before moving through progressively complex urban scenarios. Trained operators remained at the wheel of each vehicle for the duration of the trials, ready to take control if required.

Connected and autonomous pavement-based 'pods'

As well as trialling ‘regular’ road-based cars, UK Autodrive also trialled a fleet of self-driving ‘pods’ that can operate on pavements and other pedestrianised areas. Designed and built by Coventry-based firm RDM Group, the electric-powered vehicles will be used to test the feasibility of using low-speed autonomous transport systems to help move people within towns and cities.

During the trial, trained operators sat in each pod, ready to take control if required.