The UK has launched evolvAD, a state-of-the-art autonomous driving research initiative supported by Nissan and the UK Government. The project’s primary goal is to enhance autonomous driving capabilities in diverse and challenging road conditions, spanning from urban residential settings to complex rural terrains.
Why It Matters
Enhanced autonomous driving technology could redefine the mobility landscape, offering safer, more efficient, and environmentally friendly transportation solutions. Tackling specific challenges like narrow and winding roads, or those with sparse markings, will be crucial to making this technology accessible and reliable for everyday drivers.
- Project Overview: evolvAD, a consortium led by Nissan, is funded jointly by the UK Government and several industry partners. The government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility fund, overseen by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), is managed by Innovate UK.
- Partnerships and Collaboration: Five industry frontrunners form the backbone of this venture: Nissan (serving as the technical lead), Connected Places Catapult, Humanising Autonomy, SBD Automotive, and TRL. Their collective expertise will drive forward the mass deployment of autonomous technologies.
- Testing Phase: The project will leverage infrastructure like CCTV to enhance vehicle situational awareness, diving deep into vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) tech. The trial will commence with 100% electric Nissan LEAFs, initially in simulations and then on private tracks, before progressing to public roads.
- Past Success: Nissan builds on the momentum from prior successful AD research projects, notably HumanDrive and ServCity. This aligns with their overarching Nissan Ambition 2030 vision, aspiring to create a safer, cleaner, and more inclusive global community.
evolvAD represents a significant leap towards bringing advanced autonomous driving tech to the UK’s diverse roads. Backed by industry leaders and the UK Government, this project underscores the nation’s commitment to being at the forefront of transportation innovation. As emphasized by David Moss of Nissan AMIEO and Robert Bateman of NTCE, such initiatives are pivotal in the broader journey to ensure cleaner, safer, and more inclusive driving experiences. With the blessings of industry stalwarts and government representatives like Nusrat Ghani, Minister for Industry and Economic Security, the project also celebrates NTCE’s 35 years of engineering excellence in the UK, spotlighting Nissan’s enduring commitment to European R&D.