This could speed up the deployment of self-driving cars significantly.
Automakers are working to make self-driving a part of everyday life. By the end of the year, Tesla is planning to expand its Full-Self Driving software available for the Model 3, Model S, Model X, and Model Y to a wider beta. Jaguar Land Rover is even building a fake city to test autonomous technology using a self-driving I-Pace.
Now, self-driving cars are a significant step closer to becoming a reality on public roads with the construction of a revolutionary testing center nearing completion in the Midlands, UK. Developed by automotive engineering firm Horiba Mira as part of a massive £100 million ($133.7 million) investment, the autonomous vehicle development center called Assured Cav will "provide the UK with the most complete environment for the acceleration of future mobility."
When it opens in March 2021, the 1.2 million sq-ft facility will enable manufacturers to test autonomous vehicles in a variety of scenarios such as traffic merging and lane keep assist. Urban environments will also help assess how well the self-driving technology detects pedestrians and cyclists and navigates complex intersections and on-street parking. The facility will also include a multi-story parking lot to support the development of automated valet parking, as well as an ultrafast 5G mobile network to test vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, infotainment and cybersecurity. As well as offering facilities for real-world testing, an "extensive portfolio of digital replicas" will be offered for simulated tests that can be accessed virtually anywhere in the world.
To speed up the lengthy legislation process, the location can be used to provide evidence and data to influence future legislation, policy and insurance required for when driverless cars are roaming the streets.
"We've been on a journey to create Assured CAV; it represents many years of intense research and investment to bring together one of the most comprehensive CAV validation ecosystems in the world," said Declan Allen, Managing Director at Horiba Mira.
"At a time when the automotive industry is facing significant headwinds, we've been steadfast in our approach to delivering this investment and we're extremely proud to provide an ecosystem which will allow the automotive industry, as well as complementary industries, to develop and prove their self-driving technology. This is a unique opportunity for companies to accelerate their activities to lead the industry - it will allow companies to bring forward their activities in this sector in an efficient and optimized manner, enabling them to solve the real-world problems of integrating their automated products into the public roads, whilst also importantly achieving consumer acceptance."