Opening of the Smart Mobility Living Lab in London and the Darwin SatCom Lab in Oxfordshire

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UK increases driverless vehicle testing capability with new centres in London and Oxford


Last week saw the UK expand its driverless vehicle testing infrastructure with the opening of two impressive new facilities: the Smart Mobility Living Lab in London and the Darwin SatCom Lab in Oxfordshire.

On 30 September, Zenzic officially opened its Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) with an online event featuring Paul Campion, CEO of TRL, and virtual ribbon-cutting by Danny Thorpe, leader of the council in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Described as the place to go for real-world connected and automated vehicles (CAV) and connected and automated mobility (CAM) testing, the SMLL will use public and private roads in London “to develop and validate new mobility and transport technologies in a real-world connected environment”.

The following day, O2 opened its new commercial 5G and satellite communications lab at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.

Part of Project Darwin, a four-year programme supported by O2 and the European Space Agency, it will “explore and trial next-gen connectivity solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles”.

Derek McManus, chief operating officer at O2, said: “We’re delighted to announce that the Darwin SatCom Lab is now open for business. It’s the next step in getting autonomous vehicles on the road and making the UK’s transport network greener.”

Amanda Solloway MP, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, added: “I am incredibly excited that O2’s first of its kind driverless car lab will enable our most innovative businesses to test these technologies and bring us another step closer to putting self-driving vehicles safely on our roads.”

Typical, you wait months for a significant development and two come along at once.

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Author: Neil Kennett

Neil is MD of Featurebank Ltd. He launched Carsofthefuture.co.uk in 2019.

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