Cranfield University wins funding to test and validate autonomous vehicle on campus

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Cranfield University has been awarded £1.2 million for its role in testing and validating a new autonomous vehicle, which is being designed and built as part of the HumanDrive Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) project.

The project was won by the HumanDrive consortium, of which Cranfield is a core partner, as a grant awarded from Innovate UK under the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV2) programme.

This will be the inaugural project for the university’s new Multi-User Environment for Autonomous Vehicle Innovation (MUEAVI) research facility, which will become operational later this year.

The vehicle will be tested on this road for its ability to safely operate in a variety of conditions, including in an environment with many moving and static objects and in a variety of weather-led conditions.

MUEAVI is a purpose-built, instrumented roadway created as a ‘living laboratory’ for research into connected and autonomous vehicles.

MUEAVI enables autonomous vehicles to be researched and tested in diverse real-world situations and environments.

This capability is essential to develop and gain confidence in exciting technological developments of autonomous vehicles.

Cranfield’s contribution to HumanDrive is central to the project’s objective to build an autonomous vehicle with human-like, natural control and path planning, by 2020.

The vehicle will be fully autonomous and capable of completing a lengthy end-to-end journey in a variety of settings, including country roads, A-roads and motorways.

Professor Philip John, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Cranfield University, said: “We are delighted to be a core partner in the exciting HumanDrive project.

“Our major new research facility, the MUEAVI living laboratory for connected and autonomous vehicles, will play an important part in HumanDrive and other research aimed at achieving effective, acceptable autonomous vehicles.”