A 30-month Autonomous Vehicle project led by Nissan’s European Technical Centre, as a part of Renault-Nissan Alliance research activities, will culminate in the most complex journey yet attempted across the UK without driver input. The ‘HumanDrive’ project vehicle will be expected to deal with a variety of UK unique driving scenarios, including country roads, high speed roundabouts, A-Roads, Motorways in live traffic and different environmental conditions. Additionally, the vehicle will emulate a natural human driving style, providing an enhanced experience for the occupants.
To achieve this, the project will draw upon the expertise of a variety of organisations, including the tech giant Hitachi and Transport Systems Catapult, who oversaw the first UK test of a driverless vehicle in a public space in 2016. Other partners include Cranfield University, University of Leeds, HORIBA MIRA, Atkins, Aimsun Ltd, SBD Automotive and Highways England.
The HumanDrive project will seek to take autonomous technology to the next level in terms of ride comfort and adaptability, covering a number of different UK road scenes with natural road positioning.
The artificial driver model (controlling perception and decision making) will pilot the vehicle, and will be developed using the latest artificial intelligence technologies. Before being introduced to UK roads, the system will be developed and subjected to robust testing using a range of facilities, including simulation, hardware in the loop, private test track and small sections of public roads.
Aimsun has been selected to model and assess the network benefits of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) on the UK strategic road network. Aimsun’s work will allow the operational evaluation of different types of CAVs along with strategies for their use and management; this will not only help with understanding of their impact on capacity but also on emissions and safety.
Gavin Jackman, Regional Director of Aimsun explained, ‘Participation in HumanDrive sets us firmly at the front of CAV Simulation in the UK following earlier awards of Flourish and CAPRI from the Innovate UK CAV and CAV2 schemes.’
HumanDrive is jointly funded by government and industry. The government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility fund is administered by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and delivered by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
You can stay up to date with the project at www.HumanDrive.co.uk