West Midlands will play host to 300km autonomous vehicle test route later this year
A 300km Midlands Future Mobility test environment - spanning from Coventry to Birmingham - will see autonomous vehicles trialled this year.
The route has been developed by TfWM in collaboration with Coventry City Council, Birmingham City Council and Solihull Council and provides over 300km of inner city, suburban and rural roads from Coventry to Birmingham.
The autonomous vehicle industry is estimated to be worth up to £62bn to the UK economy by 2030, and hoping to lead the way to autonomous vehicles is the West Midlands.
The vehicles on the Midlands Future Mobility route will not be driving themselves during the early stages of research, initially they will have a driver and occasionally a second person monitoring how the vehicles are working.
The first types of vehicles to be trialled along the route will be 'connected' vehicles.
Connected vehicles can ‘talk’ to each other and warn of traffic, crashes and other hazards that other connected vehicles may have seen or be heading towards.
The route includes infrastructure such as smart CCTV, weather stations, communications units, and highly accurate GPS.
The route itself causes no disruption to drivers or the homes along it, as it uses existing road infrastructure 95% of the time.
Phase one of the route includes the University of Warwick, Coventry ring road, roads in Meriden, Solihull and central Birmingham around the Jewellery Quarter.