The UK House of Lords Science and Technology Committee have released a report ‘Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: The future?’

Professor Philip John Pro-Vice Chancellor Aerospace, Transport, Manufacturing at Cranfield University commented:

“The House of Lords report is timely and very welcome. Connected and Autonomous Vehicles is an increasingly important area that has captured the imagination of the public and the media. These exciting technological developments have the potential to transform applications across many sectors of our economy.

“While the headlines are often focused on driverless cars and drones capable of road transportation and delivering shopping to your front door, there are numerous potential applications for the technology to radically transform industries such as marine, agriculture and energy, as well as the familiar automotive and aviation sectors.

“The technologies are evolving rapidly and, as the HoL report recognizes, there are challenges in exploiting these opportunities successfully, safely and economically. The greatest challenge is not the individual technological elements but the issues around how they interact and integrate with both people and other technologies.

“At Cranfield, we are building capabilities bringing together our deep understanding of both the enabling technologies and systems and application sectors such as those mentioned above and establishing capabilities. Only with such practical knowledge can the business context and operational scenarios be understood, effective solutions developed and the promised economic benefit be achieved.

“Later this year at Cranfield we will see our new “Multi-User Environment for Autonomous Vehicle Innovation” (MUEAVI) up and running. This will be a full-scale ‘living laboratory’ where autonomous vehicles will interact with pedestrians on campus in realistic situations. It will also integrate with other capabilities, including Cranfield’s airport and off-road vehicle laboratory and our Intelligent Mobility Engineering Centre, to enable research into many promising application sectors..

“We believe this integrated capability at Cranfield is unique in Europe, and possibly the world, and will establish a ’theatre of innovative engagement’ model that de-risks human participant involvement in a controlled research environment. The House of Lords report is right to identify the tremendous potential of the Connected and Autonomous vehicles technologies and for the UK to continue to play a leading role in its development. At Cranfield we look forward to playing a valuable part in developing and applying these Connected and Autonomous Systems.”

Find the full House of Lords report here.