The HumanDrive project has announced their ambition for an autonomous vehicle to do the most complex journey across the UK, without driver input.
Highways England is part of the consortium working alongside Nissan, who are leading the HumanDrive project.
Mike Wilson, Executive Director for Safety, Engineering and Standards at Highways England welcomed the announcement:
Highways England sees the potential benefits of greater automation of vehicles to deliver improved safety and increased mobility.
We will be working closely with our HumanDrive partners on the plans for the on-road testing. We will be taking the research and development of the Nissan vehicle to map how the introduction of such an autonomous vehicle can shape the future of our roads, in terms of safety, emissions, journey times and capacity.
HumanDrive the most complex autonomously controlled journey yet attempted in the UK
The HumanDrive project will develop a prototype autonomous vehicle with the aim of successfully demonstrating a lengthy end-to-end journey in a variety of settings, including country roads, A-roads and motorways in live traffic and different environmental conditions. Before being introduced to UK roads, the system will be developed and subjected to a robust testing process using a range of facilities, including simulation, hardware in the loop, private test track and small sections of public roads.
One of the key innovative aspects of the project will be the development of an advanced vehicle control system, designed to allow the vehicle to emulate a ‘natural’ human driving style using machine learning and developing an Artificial Intelligence to enhance the user comfort and experience.