UK CITE, a project to create the most advanced real-world environment for testing communications technologies for connected and future autonomous vehicles, has come to a finish, completing infrastructure installation and cyber security testing alongside on-going large-scale trials on a road network in the Midlands. 

The £7.1m project, which includes investment from the Government’s Intelligent Mobility Fund and Highways England, concluded with a demonstration held at the Coventry Transport Museum and on-road demonstration using a fleet of Jaguar Land Rover connected vehicles.

Focusing on creating a Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2X) test environment, UK CITE instigated the installation of ITS G5 (wireless) roadside units in Coventry and on the M40, M42, A45 and the A46 road network. These units enable messages displayed on smart motorway overhead gantry signs to be replicated in vehicles using in-vehicle information (IVI) messages. The messages transmitted include Road Works Warning, Traffic Condition Warning, Emergency Electronic Braking and Emergency Vehicle Warnings.

Claire Lewis, Senior Business Development Manager at lead consortium partner, Visteon Engineering Services Ltd. – responsible for overall technical architecture of the project, said: “UK CITE has successfully demonstrated a multi-technology environment, combining previously disparate communications systems, which will have a significant impact on improving road safety and traffic conditions – including congestion.

“As these communications technologies rapidly are becoming mainstream in today’s vehicles, the UK CITE test environment will prove a great asset for the development of connected and future autonomous mobility.”

In addition to on-road trialling of the V2X communications, simulation and modelling enabled the consortium to study the impact of connected technologies in different road, traffic and weather conditions comparing them to non-connected vehicle scenarios.

Colin Lee, Jaguar Land Rover V2X Manager said, “Implementing vehicle – to – vehicle (V2V) and vehicle – to – everything (V2X) connectivity offers huge opportunities to improve congestion, safety and efficiency of travel. By working with our partners on UK CITE we have been able to quantify the extent and impact of these benefits for road users. The collaborative nature has accelerated how quickly we can deliver connected technology so we can start improving journeys for our customers in the very near future.”

Plans are in place to roll the UKCITE environment into the Midlands Future Mobility programme, an investment of over £27m to create a world leading connected infrastructure and eco-system and positioning the Midlands as a centre for cutting-edge automotive and communication technologies’

Highways England project manager, Ian Thompson, said: “Highways England is proud to have worked with the consortium of partners on the UK CITE project.  We installed roadside infrastructure to allow the provision of real-time information to vehicles and ensured the participants met safety requirements necessary, to trial new technologies on our road network.”

The UK CITE consortium was jointly led by Visteon Engineering Services Limited and Jaguar Land Rover and includes Coventry City Council, Coventry University, Highways England Company Ltd, HORIBA MIRA, Huawei Technologies (UK) Ltd, Siemens, TfWM, Vodafone Group Services Ltd, and WMG at University of Warwick.