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University of Salford Autonomous and Automotive Vehicle Technology

University of Salford Autonomous and Automotive Vehicle Technology
Location
Manchester, United Kingdom
Date
Started
Project details
What

© TfGM. University of Salford Autonomous and Automotive Vehicle Technology - Timeline

What

This shuttle service operated by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) for the University of Salford follows a fixed route and a fixed schedule. In the later phases, this project will become a commercial service with a fleet of shuttles that will connect the campus with Salford Central Train station to the east and Media City to the South west. The shuttle is wheelchair accessible.

Why

The University of Salford is the first University in the UK to own an autonomous shuttle. The University is looking to use this as an opportunity to gain further funding to increase the operation to a fleet and to schedule routes around the campus and connect it to its surroundings such as Salford Crescent train station and Media City UK in Salford Quays. The catalyst for action is the Autonomous Vehicle and Vehicle Technology course which commenced at the university in the autumn of 2018. The objectives of this project are:

  • To provide a mixed environment Connected Automated Vehicle (CAV) test facility; deploy autonomous vehicles on private and public roads; develop the phased plan to test the autonomous pod on the University Campus, with the aim of eventually testing it on the highway and link autonomous vehicles to public transport (train and bus);
  • To enhance the new Autonomous Vehicle and Driverless Technology (AVADT) course that started in September 2018 at the University of Salford as well as real life testing of technology - Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2i), Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), and V2X.
  • To provide research opportunities across a wide range of other disciplines including Behavioural Psychology, Law and Transport Geography;
  • To gain a better understanding of the new regulatory frameworks and operating models that can enable effective deployment of autonomous vehicles in the UK.

The overall aim of the shuttle service is to integrate it with the local rail and tram network. This will be part of testing beyond phase 2 and is something that will be enhanced through projects with the Salford CAV consortium.

© TfGM. University of Salford Autonomous and Automotive Vehicle Technology.

© TfGM. University of Salford Autonomous and Automotive Vehicle Technology.

Budget & Financing

© TfGM. University of Salford Autonomous and Automotive Vehicle Technology - Route

Budget & Financing

The shuttle is an investment by the university to support the AAVT course. The consortium (University of Salford, Transport for Greater Manchester, Salford City Council) are working together to identify suitable available funding to further develop the project and progress with the planned phases.

Regulatory Framework

© TfGM. University of Salford Autonomous and Automotive Vehicle Technology - Route

Regulatory Framework

So far, the emerging frameworks that have been delivered are:

  • The CAV established in 2015 (BEIS-DfT) to work with industry, academia and regulators to “secure the UK’s position at the forefront of this change for the safe development, production and use of this technology”.
  • The Transport Systems Catapult: market forecasting, CAVLab research platform, ecosystem development.

Challenges

Some of the challenges faced include vehicle registration, health & safety, risk assessments (public roads), campus development, GPS Antenna (range), route mapping & commissioning, operation on public roads.

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Lexicon

7 words explained

platooning

Also known as flocking. A collection of (automated) vehicles that travel together, actively coordinated in formation. Platoons decrease the distances between vehicles using electronic, and possibly mechanical, coupling. Platooning allows many vehicles to accelerate or brake simultaneously.

urban setting

High density environment with an efficient high capacity public transport system with good capillarity and high frequencies.

suburban setting

Medium density environment with a good public transport system with radial connections to the city center, but lower capillarity and frequencies. This setting includes suburban cities.

small cities

Small, isolated city with an own public transport system and <100K inhabitants.

rural

Low-density environment, small cities and villages with poor public transport services mainly connecting the villages.

SAE level

The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) levels define the level of vehicle autonomy, or in other words, how much human intervention is still needed for an automated vehicle to operate. Currently, five SAE levels have been defined: Level 0: Automated system issues warnings and may momentarily intervene but has no sustained vehicle control. Level 1 (hands on): Driver and automatic system share vehicle control. The driver must be ready to retake full control at any time. Level 2 (hands off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 3 (eyes off): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to intervene immediately at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. Level 4 (mind off): As level 3, but no driver attention is ever required for safety, e.g. the driver may safely go to sleep or leave the driver's seat. Level 5 (steering wheel optional): No human intervention is required at all. An example would be a robotic taxi.

V2X

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is the passing of information from a vehicle to any entity that may affect the vehicle, and vice versa.