The project will feature four trials, including two at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

An Aecom-led consortium has secured at least £4.2m of funding from Innovate UK, the government’s funding-for-innovation body, and the Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles to deliver a pilot scheme for driverless vehicles.

The pilot project includes the design, development and testing of new autonomous and connected pods on-demand (Pods), culminating in on-road public trials at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Comprising 20 partnering organisations, the Aecom-led Capri consortium brings together academic institutions, businesses, SMEs and public sector authorities.

Aecom said the project would include the development of the next generation of Pods, as well as the systems and technologies that will allow the vehicles to navigate safely and seamlessly in both pedestrian and road environments.

The project includes four trials, with the first on private land at Filton Airfield near Bristol aiming to test and validate the performance of the new generation Pods. The second trial will test a public service in a shopping centre car park to assess performance in busy pedestrian areas.

The final two trials will be at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a large and diverse estate that includes retail, recreation, residential and business centres.

The project will apply ‘accidentology’ analysis to Pods to identify potential causes of accidents that will require testing and evaluation in the real-world, while using state-of-the-art techniques to simulate other scenarios, reducing the need for real-world testing.

The consortium will also undertake a system-wide cyber-physical security analysis to identify how to protect the Pod systems from being compromised.

Lee Street, director & head of technology services – Europe, Aecom, said: “Connected and autonomous mobility services could potentially be used across a wide range of markets from airports and hospitals to business parks, shopping and tourist centres so there are clear economic and service benefits to this pilot.”

Aecom wins Stonehenge Expressway role

Highways England has awarded an eight-year contract to Aecom to be its technical partner for the A303 Stonehenge Expressway.

Aecom will be supported by supply chain partners Mace and Mouchel on the Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme.

The team will work on all phases of the project to upgrade the eight-mile stretch of the A303 from single to dual carriageway.

Works include a proposed new tunnel to improve the setting of Stonehenge and safety improvements.