The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) announces the launch of the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab @ Greenwich; a real-life environment where Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs), services and processes can be safely developed, evaluated and integrated within the local community

Based in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, London and supported by UK government, the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab Greenwich helps organisations bring solutions to market faster by enabling them to be trialled and validated in a real-life environment. Vehicle manufacturers, OEMs and tech developers can use the ‘Living Lab’ to assist with research and development, concept testing and validation, launching new technology or services, and understanding how new technology is perceived in a real world environment.

TRL has identified three clear challenges facing the CAV market today; the choice and variety of technologies available to manufacturers, the rate at which the capacity and speed of those technologies are developing and the automotive industry’s ability to adapt quickly enough to capitalise on the opportunities this presents. The UK Smart Mobility Living Lab aims to help organisations address these challenges by providing an open innovation environment in which industry, academia and the public sector can collaborate to accelerate the development of safe, efficient and effective CAV systems.

As Europe’s only globally recognised megacity, London provides the ideal location to explore the interoperability of CAVs with other transport services; due to the permissive regulations, thriving automotive industry and excellent research base and innovation infrastructure.

As well as being one of the UK’s leading smart cities, Greenwich benefits from a diverse range of transport modes including roads, buses, underground, rail, Docklands Light Railway, river bus and the Emirates Airline cable car. This provides an ideal environment to test the interaction and interoperability of connected and autonomous vehicles in a variety of different environments.

Onsite facilities for the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab @ Greenwich can be found at the Digital Greenwich Innovation Centre within the Mitre building, an instantly recognisable building set in the heart of the Greenwich Peninsula, central London’s most exciting new business district. Offsite facilities are provided by TRL at its R&D headquarters in Berkshire.

Rob Wallis, CEO of TRL commented: “The launch of the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab is an important step in the path towards vehicle automation. Many organisations are testing autonomous systems in dedicated off-street facilities, but the success of these vehicles largely depends on how they integrate into real world living environments, alongside existing transport services. By providing a welcoming and real-life regulatory environment for testing, TRL can help accelerate the adoption of new technology and enable the UK to play a pivotal role in the development of this global market over the next five years.”

TRL is at the forefront of smart mobility with a current portfolio of CAV projects in excess of £25m. This is underpinned by TRL’s established track record as an independent, impartial centre of excellence, delivering world class research in the UK and internationally, to both public and private sector organisations. Current CAV partners include Innovate UK, EPSRC, Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, Royal Borough of Greenwich, UMTRI, Telefonica, Shell, CEDR, RSA, Direct Line Group, Westfield, Heathrow and Oxbotica.

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