Government announces funding for a world-leading Smart Mobility Living Lab

A consortium led by TRL, has been awarded £13.4m of the government’s £51m Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) test bed funding to create a world-leading, real-world test environment for the development of future mobility solutions.

The initial round of funding is part of the £100m UK CAV test bed competitive fund and is the first investment by government and industry through Meridian to develop a coordinated national platform of CAV testing infrastructure. 

The consortium comprises world leading expertise from across the transport and technology sectors including TRL, DG Cities, Cisco, Costain, Cubic, Loughborough University, Transport for London and the London Legacy Development Corporation. Delivery partners include Millbrook Proving Ground and the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre.

The ambitious project will see the creation of a Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) in London, based in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. The Smart Mobility Living Lab: London will provide a real-world urban test bed in a complex public environment, capable of demonstrating and evaluating the use, performance and benefits of CAV technology and mobility services in an accessible and globally recognisable context. 

The Living Lab will be designed to operate as an open innovation environment where innovators in the automotive sector, transport service and technology providers, SMEs, local and central government and research bodies, can come together to exchange ideas and develop technical and business solutions for the future development of smart mobility solutions.

Located in Europe’s only mega-city, London, the SMLL will have access to a critical mass of entrepreneurial talent in all the relevant sectors, from science and engineering to digital, media, insurance and the financial markets.

The SMLL adds to TRL’s growing programme of innovation into future transport and mobility solutions, focused on (i) highly-automated, self-driving vehicles, (ii) intelligent, connected infrastructure and vehicles, (iii) low carbon technologies and electrification and (iv) shared mobility services. Today TRL, together with its partners, has an active portfolio of autonomous, connected, electric and shared mobility projects totalling in excess of £70m. These include the recently awarded UK HGV platooning project, GATEway, MOVE_UK, Atlas, Driven, Streetwise, Merge Greenwich and DRAGON.
 
Jennifer Daothong, Head of Strategy and Sustainability at the London Legacy Development Corporation, responsible for the development of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, said: “Working in partnership with London’s clean-tech industry, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is rapidly becoming a world-leading test bed for trialling new and innovative approaches to our future transport needs. We are delighted to be working with world-leading companies to provide the first of many opportunities for Londoners to experience this ground breaking technology for themselves.”
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