Jaguar Land Rover has pledged its support for a new multi-million-pound research and engineering centre for driverless cars.
The Smart City Mobility Centre will combine autonomous and electric vehicle research to help put the UK at the forefront of mobility technology.
The creation of the Midlands-based centre was announced at the Coventry and Warwickshire Automotive Dinner last night, with the Warwickshire Manufacturing Group (WMG) chairman Professor Lord Bhattacharyya saying: “This is the first time in any country that such a comprehensive system is being designed and tested.
“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.”
A specially designed 5G communications network will also be developed for the site in the move towards the creation of ‘smart cities’ that could help reduce congestion, emissions and road traffic accidents.
The centre, to be based on the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne campus, will combine WMG’s research with Jaguar Land Rover’s research and engineering expertise to engineer connected and driverless-capable prototypes to be tested in real-world conditions.
JLR chief executive Ralf Speth said: “Jaguar Land Rover welcomes the centre, which will create state-of-the-art electric vehicle modular architectures and integrated driverless capability to support the smart cities of the future.
“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.
“We look forward to this industry-leading project, which will develop future prototypes that put the UK at the forefront of automotive technology.”
News of the centre was also hailed by business, energy and industrial strategy secretary Greg Clark.