Transport for West Midlands has awarded a contract to Siemens Mobility to provide connected mobility infrastructure and software services for the Midlands Future Mobility (MFM) project.
The MFM programme will provide an on-street testbed for connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology suppliers to trial CAV solutions, including vehicles, systems and infrastructure.
The testbed will be the largest in the UK, with a network of over 185 miles (300km) of roads in the West Midlands set to be equipped with roadside units, closed circuit television, global navigation satellite system correction equipment and weather stations.
The project will enable the managed interaction between CAVs and other road users across Birmingham, Coventry and Solihull.
Furthermore, MFM will enable CAV technology to be constantly monitored in a live environment, as well as data gathering and public interaction monitoring.
As a result, the programme aims to make the West Midlands an attractive destination for companies looking to research, develop and trial CAV technology, and to facilitate the development of CAVs that are SAE Level 4+ autonomous.
Acting as principal contractor for Phase 1 of the MFM programme, which covers the first 50 sites, Siemens Mobility will install the required infrastructure and software services for the first two years of operation.
The company’s work will include: the provision of test on-board units; installation of equipment on new and existing infrastructures; connection to CCTV video analytics and weather sensors; provision and delivery of a communications network; and commissioning and testing of all equipment following installation.
Wilke Reints, managing director of ITS for Siemens Mobility UK, said: “We are particularly pleased to have been awarded this contract, taking the original specification and enhancing it to provide an innovative, efficient and cost-effective solution.
“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.
“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.”
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