Envisioning Smart Urban Mobility
INSIGHT, an all British sector-leading consortium comprising Westfield Sportscars, Birmingham City University, Heathrow Enterprises, Fusion Processing and Conigital Group will aim to establish the UK as the forefront of driverless vehicle technology.
The aim of the consortium is to ensure there is an appropriate regime for testing driverless vehicles with an emphasis on the mobility requirements of blind and visually impaired users as well as the general public.
INSIGHT will focus on safety, reliability and integration of autonomous systems in a complex city centre environment.
Westfield Sportscars will build and modify existing Heathrow Ultra-pod vehicles to incorporate the CAVStar® System. CAVStar® developed by Insight partner Fusion Processing Ltd, is a complete autonomous vehicle control system. The system features radar, optical and ultrasound sensors, along with a control unit that provides real time dynamic navigation. CAVStar® outputs control data to the vehicle level controller that drives the steering, braking and propulsion systems of the vehicle to enable safe autonomous operation.
Other unique features include implementation of world’s first 4D tactile display developed by the Conigital Group to provide blind users with continuous sensory feedback of their entire journey. In addition, the pod will be at the forefront of IoT (Internet of Things) gathering vital environmental data such as temperature, humidity and emissions to give a real-time heat map of pollution levels in the city centre.
Advanced indoor and outdoor positioning systems will not only provide information on the exact location for a user on their smartphone via an app linked to a cloud-based pod management system designed to facilitate ‘virtual-hail’ of a pod to the nearest pod point.
Birmingham City University (BCU) will develop and produce detailed safety cases for the appropriate operation of the autonomous pods. In addition, BCU will organise various trials with increasing complexity to gather vital data to enable an ultimate trial in the complex city environment. This will be complemented by public and industry specific engagement events and a close working relationship with an Advisory Group.
BCU is also responsible for the development of the exploitation plan throughout the life of the project.