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.”

Notes for editors

About MUEAVI:

The MUEAVI (Multi-User Environment for Autonomous Vehicle Innovation) road is a £9 million research facility.  With construction starting in 2017, it is a mile of ‘smart’ roadway that will be used in the development of connected and autonomous vehicles, including the associated systems needed to integrate technologies into our day-to-day lives. MUEAVI will be unique, as it will be integrated into the heart of the campus, providing a new arterial road and a pedestrian friendly boulevard, while also serving as a ‘living lab’ research environment. The MUEAVI project is supported by funding from the governments Local Growth Deal (LGD) initiative and delivered through SEMLEP (South East Midland Local Enterprise Partnership).

About Cranfield University

Cranfield is an exclusively postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.