Over recent years, the global demand for transporting people and goods has increased significantly, opening up new opportunities and substantial challenges.
New service offerings are being developed, with new characteristics requiring innovations in all areas of the transport system.
Now the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership is hosting a forum discussion at Cranfield University on November 26 6pm-9pm. It aims to facilitate the smarter, greener and more efficient movement of people and goods around the world.
Driverless cars used to be confined to the realm of science fiction, but now they are coming to a road near you. From reducing the number of accidents, to improving emissions compliance and easing congestion, the driverless revolution has begun with trials in UK locations.
The UK’s first driverless car, which has been designed to help commuters, shoppers, and the elderly travel short journeys will be introduced in Milton Keynes.
Cranfield University has been awarded funding from SEMLEP and the Higher Education Funding Council for England to build a £55 million campus infrastructure development for transport systems and intelligent mobility research, innovation and education.
The intelligent mobility industry is expected to be worth £900 billion globally by 2025 and is currently growing by 16% a year.
- Neil Fulton, programme director, Transport Systems Catapult
- Professor John Miles, chair of transitional energy strategies at Cambridge University
- Alex Burns, chief executive, Millbrook Proving Ground
- Ian Chapman, head of regional engagement & corporate projects, Cranfield University
- Hilary Chipping, acting chief executive of SEMLEP.
Milton Keynes’ self-driving pods project has been included on the shortlist for this year’s Automotive Award for Innovation presented by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The LUTZ Pathfinder project will trial three electric-powered self-driving pods around pedestrianised areas of Milton Keynes in early 2016.
The project has been shortlisted alongside four other contenders with the winner to be announced at the Grosvenor House hotel in London on November 24.
Now in its sixth year, the SMMT sets out to demonstrate the “wealth of talent that exists within the UK automotive sector”, with previous winners including Jaguar Land Rover’s low-carbon Range e- vehicle, the Optare Versa EV electric bus and Ford’s EcoBoost engine.
Overseen by the Transport Systems Catapult on behalf of the UK Automotive Council, LUTZ Pathfinder is a collaborative project involving Coventry-based manufacturers RDM, the University of Oxford’s Mobile Robotics Group and Milton Keynes Council.
Transport Systems Catapult chief executive officer Steve Yianni said: “It is great news that the LUTZ Pathfinder project has been shortlisted for this award in particular, because it really is a fantastic example of UK innovation.
“We have combined cutting-edge British design and manufacturing, in the form of RDM, with the world-leading control system technology of Oxford’s MRG and are now working with Milton Keynes’ forward-thinking council to take self-driving vehicles out of the laboratory and into the real world.”
The council’s director of strategy Geoff Snelson said: “The Autonomous Pods have the potential to radically change the way we travel in our city centres and trialling these vehicles in Milton Keynes will help establish the capabilities and point to how and where they can be deployed in the future."
The project’s first base vehicle was presented to the public outside Central Milton Keynes train station last month, and is now in Oxford, being fitted with its autonomous control system.
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