Galliford Try plays key role in autonomous vehicle research

Topic Innovation

Date 29 Sep 2020

Galliford Try is at the forefront of a new research project investigating the implications for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) on the UK motorway network.

Working with Loughborough University, Innovate UK and Highways England, the project is now into its second phase, following the completion of the first stage which highlighted three main areas of concern for the use of CAVs on the motorway network – how they deal with roadworks, merging and diverging areas and lane markings.

Phase two of the project is exploring these three areas in more detail. An instrumented vehicle, acting as a proxy for a CAV, alongside additional roadside data sources will be used to gather data from the M1 between junctions 13 and 15. This data will be fed into an advanced simulation platform and used to identify possible measures to avoid future incidents.

These interventions will subsequently be tested in real world conditions to make recommendations to asset owners, highways contractors, vehicle manufacturers and others.

The project, named CAVIAR (Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Infrastructure Appraisal of Readiness), was a winner in Highways England’s 2019 Innovation and Air Quality Competition and was awarded £1m from the Innovation and Modernisation Fund. It is due to publish its findings in early 2021.

Jon de Souza, Research and Development Manager for Galliford Try, commented: “This research is vital because CAVs’ ability to apply their intelligence is severely limited by the current approach to roadway infrastructure design and maintenance and by the fact that road technology has not kept pace with CAV technology. We need to close the gap. The project has the potential to influence the industry not only nationally but globally too as we prepare for the CAV revolution.”