In a nice development for our friends in the UK, area around the University of Warwick, Coventry, Solihull, and central Birmingham will be getting a nearly 200 mile stretch of autonomous vehicle testing road. The cool thing is that the project, called Midlands Future Mobility, will use pre-existing roadways, so not much infrastructure will have to be built to start.
Work has begun!
We will soon be able to trial connected and autonomous vehicles, making UK roads safer and allowing for more predictable goods delivery and journey times.
— Midlands Future Mobility (@MidsFutureMob) May 19, 2020
The roads have been selected due to their already extensive network of CCTVs, weather stations, and other monitoring equipment. Also, the proximity to transport hubs such as Birmingham International Airport and a new High-speed rail hub.
Since the route will include a mixture of all kinds of roads, from urban to rural, it will help developers iron out any possible troubles involving different sorts of hazard situations. While at first, the routes scope will be relatively limited inside the planned area, it will expand to become fully operational to its 350 km range within the year.
In the beginning of testing, the self-driving vehicles on the test-road will have drivers in them for precaution, and will be connected to one another like a swarm. If one sees or deals with a hazard, it will be able to update the other vehicles in the fleet.