There is very little global capacity for live testing facilities that provide environmental feedback in complex urban environments. Providers of CAVs, CAV technology and CAV-based services need a testbed that offers the dynamism of city driving as well as a layer of connected infrastructure for advanced data collection and analytics.
The problem for tech companies and hardware/vehicle providers is that investment and testing to date has primarily focused on in-car tech. In order to achieve their full potential, we believe that CAVs will need to draw on connected roadside infrastructure to operate efficiently and safely. This infrastructure will connect individual CAVs to the wider network of vehicles, providing them with shared information about traffic, obstructions or user needs to improve routing and streamline urban transport.
CAV providers need a testing environment that can help them make the jump from refining technological capabilities to developing market-ready operating models. This complicated step is difficult to test in isolation, requiring user participation and feedback, data analysis, and often collaboration with external parties such as financial backers, legal advisors and third-party providers.
To help customers accelerate market readiness safely, SMLL will provide easy access to testing to allow customers to understand how their vehicles or technologies behave in a real environment. But SMLL will provide customers with more than just a facility; it will offer a rounded package of mobility services to advance CAV and future transport solutions.
Over the course of the project, SMLL will aim to provide a range of services covering different areas. For instance, there is the potential for SMLL to give extra data and insights to customers of the testbed, providing them with access to the outputs of the sensor network that will operate throughout it and providing access to simulation capabilities for customers at micro and macro levels. SMLL will also aspire to help customers to acquire the operation certifications required by relevant transport authorities through verifiable tests and collating the necessary data to prove compliance.
Overall, SMLL aims to become an integral part of the testing and development of all CAV and CAV-based technology, products and services. It is our desire that a visit to SMLL will be expected as a part of every smart transport solutions roadmap.