Oct 19th 2023* – In a groundbreaking development for the automotive and autonomous vehicle industry, StreetDrone, alongside industry partners Chassis Autonomy, Alcon and the University of Surrey, has been chosen by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) to spearhead the development of a validated autonomous vehicle platform capable of running without a driver in both on-road and off-highway environments. This transformative initiative, aptly named the Systems for Autonomy in Fail Operational Environments (SAFE) project, part of £18.5m in government funding to strengthen the capabilities of the UK’s connected and automated mobility supply chain, promises to reshape the landscape of autonomous driving in the United Kingdom and beyond.
The SAFE project represents a significant step forward in autonomous vehicle technology, with a primary focus on enhancing safety and reliability. Its primary objective is to create a fully redundant, fail-operational Drive-by-Wire technology platform, enabling safe autonomous vehicle operations even when a human driver is not present. The project aims to provide a validated vehicle platform as part of deploying coveted SAE Level 4 autonomy, a milestone that will signify a higher degree of vehicle automation than is currently possible in the UK and elsewhere.
In the world of autonomous vehicles, ensuring a safe operation and vehicle platform fleet is paramount. SAFE’s advanced, safety-critical vehicle systems will provide lateral and longitudinal control, maintaining vehicle safety even in the face of a software or system failure. This robust fail-operational capability is poised to set new standards for autonomous driving safety in real-world scenarios.
The consortium leading the SAFE project comprises key players in the automotive and technology sectors, bringing together their collective expertise to drive innovation. StreetDrone, as the lead partner, brings its deep knowledge of autonomous vehicle platforms and technologies to the table. Joining them are Alcon Components Limited, known for their precision engineering and automotive systems focusing on BbW; the University of Surrey, renowned for its research excellence in autonomous systems; and Chassis Autonomy Limited, with expertise in the design and development of fail-operational steer-by-wire actuators.
The collaborative efforts of these partners will accelerate the development of SAFE’s Drive-by-Wire technology platform, marking a pivotal moment in the journey towards autonomous driving excellence.
As the SAFE project takes shape, it will not only contribute to advancing autonomous vehicle technology but also position the United Kingdom at the forefront of this rapidly evolving industry. The initiative aligns with the government’s vision for a safer, more efficient, and sustainable transportation future.
StreetDrone’s CEO Mike Potts expressed the company’s excitement for leading the project, stating, “SAFE represents a milestone in autonomous vehicle development. We are proud to work alongside our partners, as well as CCAV, in creating a platform that pushes the boundaries of safety and reliability in autonomous driving. This project will pave the way for safer, more accessible autonomous transportation for all.”
The SAFE project has already garnered significant attention within the industry, and it is poised to leave an indelible mark on the future of autonomous vehicles in the United Kingdom.
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