Multimillion-pound research centre to drive forward region’s vehicle technology

Credit: WMG

A multimillion-pound Smart City Mobility Centre is to be developed in the West Midlands in the latest boost to the region’s growing expertise in driverless vehicles.

The Centre will bring together Warwick Manufacturing Group’s (WMG) research expertise and Jaguar Land Rover’s research and engineering capabilities.

WMG Chairman Professor Lord Bhattacharyya has revealed that Europe’s first Smart City Mobility Centre will be based at the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne campus, with driverless capable vehicle testing on the University of Warwick’s campus in Coventry and Warwickshire.

The investment will create Europe’s most extensive and significant integration of technology research projects at such a scale.

“This is the first time in any country that such a comprehensive system is being designed and tested,” said Lord Bhattacharyya.

“This will help integrate plans for transport systems for the future that have the potential to bring significant economic benefits to transform and improve the lives of a great many people who could benefit from even safer, less congested, and more environmentally sustainable transport.”

It will combine research, transport data, infrastructure, and vehicle prototyping to further develop work on connected and autonomous vehicles – often called driverless cars – and electric vehicle technology.

Jaguar Land Rover engineers and WMG researchers will work together at Wellesbourne to design and engineer connected, driverless capable, prototype electric modular architectures.

These will be tested in real world conditions alongside a specially designed 5G communications network on the University of Warwick’s main campus.

Prof Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, added: “It builds on collaboration between Jaguar Land Rover, WMG, the University of Warwick and government to develop 5G connectivity in the region – this is critical for new mobility solutions and services that will transform customer experiences in the future and make congestion, traffic accidents and emissions a thing of the past.”