ServCity accelerates urban autonomous vehicle development
Following three years of research and more than 1,600 autonomous test miles driven, ServCity, a consortium project backed by Nissan and supported by the UK government, has reached its conclusion, deploying advanced autonomous drive technology in complex urban environments in London, integrated with the city’s infrastructure.
Built on a 100% electric Nissan LEAF, the ServCity connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) has successfully completed increasingly challenging validation trials on the roads of London, connected to the Smart Mobility Living Lab (SMLL) in Greenwich.
Nissan said it has worked alongside consortium partners to develop a blueprint which will help UK cities incorporate advanced autonomous vehicle technologies with city infrastructure. The project also explored how cities could deliver a robotaxi-style service in the future for the benefit of city residents and commuters.
ServCity is jointly funded by the UK government and consortium partners, the government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility fund, administered by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV), and delivered by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
Over three years, six partners – Nissan, Connected Places Catapult, TRL, Hitachi Europe, the University of Nottingham and SBD Automotive – have been collaborating to develop a blueprint that will guide OEMs, transport providers and city planners to get “CAV-ready” in the UK’s cities.
The project, as with all the previous CAV development projects backed by UK Government funding, is designed to provide a means of giving people the confidence that CAVs are safe to introduce on UK roads as well as having a demonstrable benefit to society. To that end, the finale of the project comprises a series of demonstrations to stakeholders where guests can experience first-hand, advanced autonomous drive technologies integrated with CAV-ready infrastructure on the streets of Greenwich.
ServCity was able to use the full capabilities of SMLL, which used its network of roadside sensors and a data processing suite to create a futuristic co-operative infrastructure environment, sending new sources of data to the CAV to improve its situational awareness.
Autonomous drive technology is a key pillar in Nissan Ambition 2030, a long-term vision which, said the manufacturer, strives to create a cleaner, safer and more inclusive world.
“We are extremely proud to be a part of the ServCity project, and our 100% electric Nissan LEAF has proven to be the ideal test vehicle. Through our Nissan Ambition 2030 long-term vision, we are committed to supporting greater access to safe and exciting research projects such as ServCity, which are vital to the evolution of technology,” said David Moss, senior vice-president of region research and development for Nissan Africa, Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania.
“Through our world-class R&D base in Cranfield in the UK, Nissan is continuously innovating to bring cutting-edge, purpose-driven technologies that benefit our customers. ServCity’s achievements contribute to our efforts to usher in a future where we hope to see zero fatalities on the road while providing customers with the added comfort and convenience that come from advanced autonomous drive technologies.”