Engineering and professional services consultancy WSP will design a real-world proving facility for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) as part of a £1.7m contract with Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).
WSP has already carried out a design feasibility study for the 100km testbed, identifying 140 potential sites across Coventry, Solihull and Birmingham, Insider Media reports.
The firm is now in the design and deliver phase for the physical infrastructure needed to support the project, including installing roadside units to enable communication with CAV services on vehicles.
Other technologies to be rolled out include hi-tech weather stations, live cameras and GNSS correction towers to provide high accuracy positioning for vehicles using GPS data, the company said.
WSP will also assist TfWM in appointing a construction partner for the delivery and commissioning stages of the project.
When the test facility is completed, it will be available for manufacturers of connected and autonomous vehicles and systems to trial Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) services.
“The West Midlands has always been at the forefront of the UK car manufacturing industry and we look forward to working with TfWM in realising the economic and social benefits that new modes of transport offer, truly helping to rev the Midlands Engine,” said Shafiq Garda, project director for intelligent transport services at WSP.
“Applying the results from our feasibility study and moving onto the design phase, this testbed will pave the way for a rigorous and safe approach to testing connected and autonomous vehicles, driving innovation and the intelligent roll-out of these technologies in the years to come.”
WSP is also working with TfWM on its Future Mobility 2022 project, launched to make a strategic case for wide adoption of future mobility services to solve real-world transport challenges.