UK consortium to attempt country’s most complex driverless journey

 IMage courtesy of Transport systems catapult

IMage courtesy of Transport systems catapult

An autonomous vehicle project led by Nissan’s European Technical Centre today announced that it plans to attempt the most complex driverless journey yet in the UK.

The partners behind the 30-month ‘HumanDrive’ project plan to use their vehicle in a variety of UK driving scenarios, from country roads and high-speed roundabouts to motorways in live traffic conditions and different driving environments.

Low carbon and self-driving vehicles are the future and they are going to drive forward a global revolution in mobility
— UK Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark

The autonomous vehicle is intended to emulate a natural human driving style, with the project’s partners planning to take autonomous technology ‘to the next level’ when it comes to passenger comfort.

“Low carbon and self-driving vehicles are the future and they are going to drive forward a global revolution in mobility,” said UK Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark.



“This revolution has the potential to be worth £52bn to our economy by 2035 and the opportunity to be at the forefront of this change is one we cannot afford to miss.

“Through our Industrial Strategy and the Automotive Sector Deal investment in the development of driverless technology we are committed to working with industry to seize these opportunities.”

The HumanDrive project will use an artificial driver model to control perception and decision-making while piloting the vehicle. The system will be tested using a range of facilities before being introduced to UK roads.

A number of organisations will support the project with their expertise, including Hitachi and Transport Systems Catapult, who oversaw the first UK test of a driverless vehicle in a public space. Other partners include Cranfield University, University of Leeds, HORIBA MIRA, Atkins, Aimsun Ltd, SBD Automotive and Highways England.

“This pioneering project will considerably enhance the experience of drivers who use future autonomous vehicles,” said Mark Westwood, Chief Technology Officer at Transport Systems Catapult.

“We’ve only just scratched the surface in terms of the capability of machine learning and AI in driving. The HumanDrive project further reinforces the UK’s commitment to be at the forefront of future mobility, and as a world leader in R&D.

“We are delighted to be working with world-class partners on this project to ensure autonomous vehicle technology provides users with the utmost comfort and control possible.”