FAQs

About the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London

What exactly is the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London?

The Smart Mobility Lab: London is a world-class test bed for the development and validation of Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) based mobility solutions. It’s an open innovation environment where vehicles and technologies can be tested in real-world scenarios.

What partners are involved in the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London and what are their roles?

  • TRL: Consortium lead and research partner. Responsible for facilitating and managing the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London.
  • Digital Cities Greenwich (DG Cities): will work closely with TRL to facilitate & manage and the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London. DG Cities will provide insights and expertise on the integration of future transport services into a smart city environment, in a way that is compatible with the needs of the city, its residents and businesses. DG Cities is also leading work on setting up the physical test bed facilities including the operations centres and the garaging and vehicle facilities at both sites.
  • London Legacy Development Corporation: The London Legacy Development Corporation is a Mayoral Development Corporation with responsibility for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding areas. The Park has rapidly been established as an area of innovation and collaboration and will use its status as a Smart, Sustainable District to demonstrate how technology and integrated approaches can support the operation new technologies in a real-world environment.
  • Transport for London: is providing access to real-time Traffic data for connected vehicles, giving traffic signal timings to allow vehicles to move efficiently through the network. TfL is also providing strategic advice on city compatibility and ensuring trials align with the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.
  • Loughborough University: will be a lead research partner, drawing on its recognised expertise in the automotive industry and its relationship with the major car manufacturers.
  • Cisco: as lead technology and delivery partner, Cisco will initially manage the build phase of the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London – including installation of roadside and back office IT infrastructure for test routes, provision of data platforms and in creating an innovation and experience centre for the initiative.
  • Cubic Corporation: is the parent company of three major businesses, Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS), Cubic Global Defense (CGD), and Cubic Mission Solutions (CMS). CTS is a leading integrator of payment and information technology and services for intelligent travel solutions worldwide.
  • Millbrook: will be a key operational partner, supporting the logistics and operation of the Living Lab.
  • The 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) at the University of Surrey: will provide advanced 5G capability through the programme.

What kind of technology will be tested in the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London?

The Living Lab will enable testing of a very wide range of technologies that will enable future mobility solutions. Currently the main focus for testing is on connected and autonomous vehicles, however we also anticipate testing technology from across of the entire transport system including: ADAS systems; autonomous control systems; sensors to enable smart infrastructure; digital worlds for virtual validation; communications systems such as 5G; environmental sensing; traffic management systems; parking solutions; smart ticketing and advanced payments systems; fleet management technology including prognostics and health management and building information modelling (BIM) software systems.

Why is a ‘Living Lab’ a better test environment than a controlled laboratory?

The success and adoption of connected and autonomous vehicles largely depends on how well these vehicles integrate into real world living environments, among real-world situations, alongside existing transport services and infrastructure. While controlled off-street facilities are important in providing initial confirmation that systems are behaving as expected in a range of controlled scenarios, testing in a live environment is vital to understand user acceptance and how these systems operate amongst the complexity and unpredictability that is inherent in real world environments.

The Living Lab is also vital for understanding how business models posed by new mobility solutions will be adopted and work in a real-world environment. It will be testing in the Living Lab ecosystem that will really help accelerate the adoption of new mobility in the UK and globally.

What are the main benefits of the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London?

One of the main benefits of the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London is that it can help organisations bring solutions to market faster. By testing concepts in a living environment, organisations can understand how their technology is perceived and how it tackles real-world challenges, speeding up research and development processes and demonstrating commercial viability.

It can also be used by policy makers for designing, exploring, experiencing and refining new policies and regulations in real-life scenarios, or for evaluating their potential impacts before implementation.

Another benefit of the Living Lab is greater collaboration. It provides a safe environment for groups of innovators to get together to better understand the impact of change, enabling organisations to plan for the future and to avoid the paralysis of decision making that can occur when the future is uncertain.

Where in London is the Smart Mobility Living Lab?

The Smart Mobility Living Lab: London will initially have facilities located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.   The solutions and methodologies proven here will be of importance, and able to be rolled out, to the whole of London, and beyond.

Onsite facilities are located at the Digital Greenwich Innovation Centre within the Mitre building in the heart of the Greenwich Peninsula and at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Here East, a dedicated hub for the pioneering of technology. Further offsite facilities are also provided by TRL at its R&D headquarters in Berkshire.

Why have Greenwich and Stratford been chosen as the location for the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London?

The Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG) and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) in Stratford, are in two neighbouring and complementary regions of London.

The Park provides a modern environment, representative of new worldwide developments at the heart of four inner and outer London boroughs, while Greenwich offers a more traditional public urban road test environment. The Living Lab will allow for the transition of testing and service provision from relatively controlled to more complex real world environments, allowing customers to follow a graduation path for their products and services.

The Park and RBG sites have multi-modal transport services and users, including rail, tube, car, motorcycle, bus, river taxis and ferry services, private and hired pedal cycle and pedestrian facilities. The rail and tube stations, ferry terminals, bus stops, car parks, cycle hire points are all important physical infrastructure elements that will be part of the real world holistic test bed environment.

What is there to see in the Living Lab?

The whole purpose of the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London is to provide a test environment that’s representative of real-life scenarios. This means an environment where technology and behaviour can be observed in a natural setting, so on a day-to-day basis there will be nothing out of the ordinary to see.

However, we will be creating experience centres at both the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park locations, which will enable members of the public to interact with and learn about this technology. This is a key part of the pubic facing element to the Living Lab.

How much government funding has the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London received?

The government has provided £13.4m towards the Living Lab as part of the £100m UK CAV test bed competitive funding which it has committed to ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of this new and rapidly evolving market.

What’s the UK government’s role in the Living Lab?

The government has provided £13.4m towards the Living Lab as part of the £100m UK CAV test bed competitive funding which it has committed to ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of this new and rapidly evolving market.

Also a number of projects that are jointly funded by Innovate UK and backed by the DfT and CCAV are currently using the ‘Living Lab’, including GATEway, MOVE_UK, Merge and Atlas.

About the testing

Where will testing take place?

The vision is for testing to take place anywhere in London. Initial test sites have been identified in Greenwich and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. The exact location for testing will depend on the client’s requirements and what they’re looking to achieve. If it’s to understand how these vehicles interact with pedestrians, this might be in busy pedestrian areas. If it’s to understand how the technologies operate in normal driving conditions, it could be testing on the roads in Greenwich among moving traffic. This could include busy urban roads, the historic area of Maritime Greenwich, suburban areas such as Thamesmead or strategic routes such as the A2 and A20.

How will TRL be involved in the testing? In what capacity?

TRL has a wealth of experience in working with public and private sector organisations to ensure real world testing of vehicle systems are carried out safely and effectively. The company also brings a commitment to delivering research excellence. This stretches from the application of ethical principles in the design of test protocols to the selection of robust statistical tests for data analysis and the production of impactful outputs of research programmes.

Will testing take place on normal roads?

Yes, testing could take place on normal roads – it all depends on the customer’s requirements. Steps are being taken to ensure that testing can place in a number of different scenarios within the Living Lab. This could be in live traffic on normal roads in Greenwich, or in a segregated environment on private roads in Stratford.

 All testing will comply with the Department for Transport’s Code of Practice for the testing of automated vehicle technologies.

How will you ensure that the testing carried out is safe?

TRL has more than fifty years’ experience in the testing of vehicle safety systems and automated vehicles in a range of different environments, including public roads. In addition to drawing upon this wealth of experience for the design of vehicle studies that are safe and robust, all tests will be undertaken in compliance with the Department for Transport (DfT) Code of Practice (to which TRL made a significant contribution).

Will there be someone on site at all times?

Onsite support for the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London is flexible depending on the type and scale of testing being undertaken. Facilities exist for round the clock support if required.

Who will be using the Living Lab?

The Living Lab is an ideal test location for anyone with a vehicle, technology solution or vested interest in connected and automated vehicles.

 

Is it only UK companies that can use the Living Lab?

No. Testing in the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London is not limited to any particular companies or countries.

We welcome, and very much encourage, companies from all countries to come and make use of the Living Lab. In fact, one of the benefits of testing in the UK is our permissive regulations, making it an ideal location for companies to test their technology.

How many customers are already using the Living Lab?

A number of projects are currently using the Living Lab including GATEway, MOVE_UK, Atlas and Merge.

How can people register their interest in using the Living Lab?

Anyone interested in using the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London can register their interest at: www.SmartMobility.London and one of the team will get in touch.

Have you had discussions with any OEMs about using the Living Lab for the testing?

We’re unable to comment on with whom we’re having discussions. However we do strongly believe that the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London provides an ideal test location for all connected and automated vehicles and their associated technologies. Anyone who wants to know more about why is welcome to get in touch.

About connected & automated vehicle testing

Why should we let connected & automated vehicles be tested on public roads?

Vehicle manufacturers are expected to have conducted extensive testing and development of a vehicle on dedicated test tracks and proving grounds prior to any public road testing. However controlled ‘real world’ testing is necessary to help ensure that these technologies are capable of safely handling the many varied situations that may be encountered.

Is it currently legal for a fully or highly automated vehicle to drive on UK roads?

The regulatory review of existing legislation found that the UK’s legal and regulatory framework is not a barrier to the testing of automated vehicles on public roads. Real-world testing of automated vehicles on public roads is possible in the UK today, providing a test driver is present and takes responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle; and that the vehicle can be used compatibly with road traffic law.

Isn’t Google and the US already miles ahead?

No. Google is taking one approach to creating autonomous vehicles in the US, but this is not the only way. The regulatory position in the US is complicated by having variations between legislation at the state and federal levels. It is known that Google has had discussions with UK representatives about testing its automated vehicles here in order to continue development of its vehicles.

Similarly, many companies in the UK and Europe are looking to test connected and automated vehicle systems in challenging real world environments in order to accelerate development.

What makes the UK an ideal test location?

The UK is uniquely positioned to become a premium global location for the development of autonomous vehicles and their associated technologies. Driverless vehicles can already legally be tested on public roads and the UK Government is actively supporting research, development and demonstration of connected and autonomous vehicles.

The latest round of UK Government funding, complemented by industry investment, establishes an integrated eco-system of real-world CAV testing capability in the UK. Out the Nationally, four test-beds are being created, two controlled environments and two open public facing environments.

Situated in the heart of London, Europe’s only Megacity the Living Lab provides a test ground in real world environments and locations, which offer staged levels of lower and higher complexity and challenge.

Also, as the gateway to the UK, London has a critical mass of entrepreneurial talent in all the relevant sectors, from science and engineering to digital businesses, media, insurance and the financial markets.

The Park provides a modern environment, representative of new worldwide developments at the heart of four inner and outer London boroughs, while Greenwich offers a more traditional public urban road test environment. The Living Lab will allow for the transition of testing and service provision from modern and accessible to more complex real world environments, allowing customers to follow a graduation path for their products and services.

© Copyright - Smart Mobility London