It looks like any British city, but the West Midland’s city of Coventry is well on its way to becoming the most futuristic place in the U.K . The city has been chosen to be one of three testbeds for 5G mobile technology, alongside two other West Midland cities, Birmingham and Wolverhampton; and, with the Buckinghamshire town of Milton Keynes, it was also the location for UK Autodrive, which trialed self-driving and connected vehicle technology. Plus, it’s soon to be home to the National Automotive Innovation Centre.
Britain’s biggest car maker, Jaguar Land Rover, which is headquartered in Coventry, trialed its Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) Connected technology in the city. This could put a stop to long waits at red traffic lights and was pioneered as part of the £20 million ($25.6 million) U.K. Government-funded project, UK Autodrive.
“The West Midlands is not only home to our engineering center, but also home to the CAV [Connected and Autonomous Vehicles ] testbed, 5G consortiums, a consortium connecting 40 miles of motorways (A45, A46, M40 and M42) with V2X (vehicle- to-everything ) and V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) capability, forward-thinking local councils, the Smart City Mobility Centre and from next year, the National Automotive Innovation Centre. Jaguar Land Rover are working closely or leading all of these initiatives and so this is the best environment to accelerate our development of connected and autonomous technologies,” explains Colin Lee, Jaguar Land Rover V2X manager.
Part of the University of Warwick, the National Automotive Innovation Centre is under construction in Coventry. Once opened it’s charged with providing a critical mass of research capability combining automotive expertise nationally and internationally and will further strengthen Coventry’s position as an innovative auto tech hub.