Atkins as part of the VENTURER consortium is trialling autonomous vehicles in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire council areas to explore the feasibility of driverless cars in the UK. The trial is being funded by Innovate UK to investigate the legal and insurance aspects of the new technology and explore how the public react to such vehicles.
Transport Minister Claire Perry and Business Secretary Vince Cable launched the VENTURER consortium’s driverless car trial in February 2015, giving the project the green light to test autonomous vehicles in the real world.
The VENTURER consortium is made up of a range of organisations from across different sectors:
- Atkins: lead partner, providing project co-ordination, delivery and intelligent mobility expertise
- AXA UK: insurance and legal expertise
- Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council: access to public roads and local road network intelligence
- First Bus: as part of the work being done around driver assistance technologies, First will provide a bus as a means of collecting data
- Fusion Processing: advanced sensor systems
- Williams Advanced Engineering: driving simulator expertise
- Centre for Transport and Society, University of the West of England: research on public expectations, acceptance and response
- University of Bristol: car to infrastructure communications
- Bristol Robotics Lab, University of the West of England & University of Bristol: hosting the trial centre and providing systems integration and decision-making algorithms.
The VENTURER trial will run for 36 months. Testing of the consortium’s autonomous vehicle, the BAE Systems Wildcat, on private and public roads is due to begin in early 2016.