Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has signed Siemens Mobility to provide a connected mobility infrastructure and software services for the Midlands Future Mobility (MFM) programme.
It will involve the provision of roadside units, CCTV, global navigation satellite system correction equipment and weather stations over a 300km road network across Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry.
This will provide the largest testbed so far in the UK for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and is aimed at enabling the managed interaction between CAVs and other road users.
Siemens will act as the principal contractor for the first phase of the MFM programme, installing the required infrastructure and equipment for the first two years of operation over 50 sites. This will involve installing equipment on new and existing infrastructures, connections with CCT video analytics and weather sensors, the delivery of a communications network and the provision of test onboard units.
Wilke Reints, managing director of intelligent traffic systems for Siemens Mobility, said: “With CAVs offering huge potential to improve safety, reduce congestion and help optimise traffic flow, this project is a further demonstration of the UK’s capabilities in this exciting and fast moving sector.
“It allows us collectively to demonstrate how smart technology enables vehicles to be connected via high speed, high capacity wireless infrastructure across a whole road network, with no loss of signal.”
He added: “Building on our previous work with projects including UK Autodrive and UK CITE, projects such as MFM are a great example of how our focus on digitalisation makes mobility infrastructure and networks more intelligent and ultimately delivers an enhanced experience for road users and for people who live in our cities.”
The MFM programme received two rounds of funding amounting to £44 million from the Government to support the testing of CAVs. It has contributed to the West Midlands emergence as a leading region for the development of the technology, having been chosen as the UK’s first Future Mobility Area in 2018.