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February 18, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 5:13pm

Connected, autonomous & driverless: London gets UK’s first Smart Mobility Living Lab

News: GATEway and MOVE_UK first to roll out smart futuristic cars in Greenwich.

By Joao Lima

The UK’s smart car space has got another boost with the launch of a Smart Mobility Living Lab in Greenwich, London.

The living lab will provide a real-life environment where Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs), services and processes can be developed and integrated within the local community.

The project is supported by the UK government and was today launched by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).

It aims to speed up CAVs R&D and get solutions to market faster. Car manufacturers, OEMs and tech developers will be among those using the lab in order to develop and launch new technology and services. The lab gives developers the opportunity to understand how new technology is perceived in a real world environment.

One project which is already using the living lab is the £8 million GATEway (Greenwich Automated Transport Environment) project, which plans to deploy driverless cars to the Royal Borough’s streets in a UK first.

Professor Nick Reed, academy director at TRL and technical director for GATEway, previously told CBR that if the trials prove successful, "we expect these iconic vehicles to become a familiar sight in many cities around the world".

In a statement, TRL said: "London provides the ideal location to explore the interoperability of CAVs with other transport services; due to the permissive regulations, thriving automotive industry and excellent research base and innovation infrastructure."

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TRL is currently involved in CAVs projects worth up to £25 million backed by the UK government.

Rob Wallis, CEO of TRL commented: "Many organisations are testing autonomous systems in dedicated off-street facilities, but the success of these vehicles largely depends on how they integrate into real world living environments, alongside existing transport services."

Transport Minister Andrew Jones, said: "Driverless cars will improve road safety and bring huge benefits to the economy. We have backed projects in Greenwich with £9 million of funding that are helping to turn it into a major centre for testing and demonstration."

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