UK’s ‘longest autonomous car journey’ success

Posted on 22 Feb 2020 and read 577 times
UK’s ‘longest autonomous car journey’ successA British-based research project into the latest autonomous-vehicle technologies has successfully completed a 230-mile self-navigated journey on UK roads.

The project, HumanDrive, is jointly funded by the UK Government through the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and Innovate UK, along with nine other consortium partners.

The joint funding package for the project totalled £13.5 million (

The research project has successfully completed two trials: ‘Grand Drive’, a 230-mile self-navigated journey on UK roads using advanced positioning technology; and test track-based work that explored ‘human-like driving using machine learning to enhance the user experience.’

The test vehicles included Nissan LEAFs featuring GPS, radar, Lidar (light detection and ranging) and camera technologies that ‘build up a perception of the world around it’.

The ‘Grand Drive’ — from Cranfield (Bedfordshire) to Sunderland — was the culmination of 30 months’ work by the HumanDrive consortium — a team led by Nissan engineers in the UK, working in partnership with consortium members.

The journey saw lessons learned during the project put into practice in a range of driving scenarios that included negotiating country lanes (with no or minimal road markings), junctions, roundabouts and motorways.

The second part of the HumanDrive project looked at how machine-learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies could ‘enhance the user experience and passenger comfort of connected and autonomous vehicles’.

Pilot vehicles tested successfully on private tracks incorporated AI systems developed by consortium member Hitachi Europe Ltd.

“These enable real-time machine-learning; and by building a dataset of previously encountered traffic scenarios and solutions, they can use this ‘learned experience’ to handle similar scenarios in future and plot a safe route around an obstacle.”

Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Safely completing the longest autonomous drive in Britain is an incredible achievement for Nissan and the HumanDrive consortium, and a huge step towards the roll-out of driverless cars on UK streets.

“This project is a shining example of how the automotive industry, working with government, can drive technology to benefit people’s mobility — while helping to slash carbon emissions.”

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